Turkey rescues 85 irregular migrants pushed back by Greece

Baku, September 23, AZERTAC

The Turkish Coast Guard Command rescued 85 irregular migrants pushed back by Greek authorities off Izmir and Balıkesir provinces, according to Daily Sabah.

In Izmir, the coast guard saved 75 migrants and refugees off Çeşme, Dikili and Seferihisar districts on Sept. 20-21. The migrants were on rubber boats at the time of the rescue, Ihlas News Agency (IHA) cited the coast guard as saying.

They were transferred to the local migration authority after routine procedures, the report added.

In Balıkesir province, the coast guard rescued 10 irregular migrants pushed away by Greece.

They were on a life raft off Ayvalık and were sent to a repatriation center.

The nationality of the irregular migrants has not been reported, but individuals from war-torn countries such as Syria and Afghanistan have been attempting to cross the sea to reach Europe.

Turkey and Greece have been key transit points for migrants aiming to cross into Europe, fleeing war and persecution to start new lives. Turkey has accused Greece of large-scale pushbacks and summary deportations without migrants being given access to asylum procedures, which is a violation of international law. It also accuses the European Union of turning a blind eye to this blatant abuse of human rights.

Between January 2020 and March 2021, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) documented around 300 reported incidents of illegal expulsions around the Aegean islands and Greece's northeastern land border with Turkey. Several migrant support groups, including the Greek Helsinki Monitor, in May, filed a complaint with the European Court of Justice against Frontex, the EU's border monitoring agency.

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