By Haydar Toprakci
IZMIR, Türkiye (AA) - Coast Guard units in Türkiye’s western province of Izmir said Tuesday that they rescued 143 irregular migrants after Greek authorities pushed them into Turkish territorial waters.
After receiving information that there were groups of irregular migrants in rubber boats off the coast of Dikili and Seferihisar districts in Izmir, teams were dispatched to the area and the migrants were rescued, said the Coast Guard Command.
In a separate operation, Turkish Coast Guard units stopped a rubber boat off Seferihisar after receiving a tipoff and held 31 irregular migrants.
All of the migrants were transported to provincial migration offices.
Türkiye has been a key transit point for asylum seekers aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.
Human rights groups and media outlets have frequently reported on illegal pushbacks and other human rights breaches by Greek authorities.
Ankara and global rights groups have repeatedly condemned Greece’s illegal practice of pushing back asylum seekers, saying it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children.