Turkey rescues asylum seekers in Aegean Sea

Orient Net 2020-04-01 05:58:00

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The Greek Coast Guard on Tuesday (March 31) forced 18 asylum seekers into Turkish territorial waters off the southeastern coast, where they were rescued by Turkey.

A Turkish Coast Guard team rescued the asylum seekers off the Datca district, in the Aegean, in the Mugla province, said the coast guard command.

The team rescued 18 asylum seekers from Palestine, Syria, and Iran, including women and children.

After being given food and blankets, the asylum seekers were taken to the provincial migration offices.

Separately, 50 asylum seekers of various nationalities were held in western Turkey after attempting to cross into Greece by rubber boats.   

On Saturday, the Turkish Coast Guard rescued 21 Syrian asylum seekers off the Aegean Sea.

Last week, Turkish Cypriot security forces rescued 175 Syrian asylum seekers off the coast of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) from a floundering boat.

Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution. 

Late last month, Turkey announced that it would no longer stop asylum seekers from reaching Europe via land while banning boat crossings. 

Turkey accuses the European Union of failing to keep its promises under a 2016 migrant deal. 

Turkey currently hosts over 3.7 million Syrians, making it the world's top refugee-hosting country.

Based on AA