ADDS 1 MORE OPERATION
By Ali Riza Akkir, Tezcan Ekizler and Sabri Kesen
MUGLA, Turkey (AA) – Some 75 asylum seekers trying to illegally cross to Europe were held in Turkey Monday, while 116 others were rescued after being illegally pushed back at sea by Greek forces, security sources said.
Alerted by the Turkish Coast Guard, gendarmerie forces were dispatched to the Seydikemer district, where they held 75 asylum seekers, including women and children, who were preparing to board a boat, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Two alleged human smugglers, identified as Ibrahim A. and Batry K., were arrested at the scene.
Separately, at least 25 asylum seekers left stranded in Turkish territorial waters by Greek authorities were rescued off the coast of Marmaris in the Mugla province.
In another operation, 13 migrants were rescued by the Turkish Coast Guard in Mugla’s Bozburun district.
The migrants were taken to the port of Marmaris after being pushed into Turkish territorial waters by Greek authorities.
Separately, according to the Turkish Coast Guard in the Aegean Izmir province, 78 migrants were rescued after being pushed back by the Greek Coast Guard.
A total of 59 of the migrants were rescued from a life raft in the Dikili district, and 19 were rescued from a rubber raft in the Menderes district.
After routine checks, the asylum seekers were sent to provincial migration authorities.