Turkey on Tuesday rescued 27 asylum-seekers that were pushed back into Turkish waters by the Greek coast guard.
Turkish coast guard teams, after discovering the life-raft with the asylum-seekers, brought them ashore close to western Çanakkale province’s Ayvacık, according to Anadolu Agency (AA).
The asylum-seekers were taken to the Ayvacık repatriation center.
Turkey has accused Greece of large-scale pushbacks and summary deportations without access to asylum procedures, which is a violation of international law. It also accuses the European Union of turning a blind eye to what it says is a blatant abuse of human rights.
Pushbacks are considered contrary to international refugee protection agreements that say people shouldn't be expelled or returned to a country where their life or safety might be in danger due to their race, religion, nationality or membership of a social or political group.
On March 3, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that Greece's practice of pushing irregular migrants back to Turkey amounts to a clear violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights and European Union law.
Recently, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) footage recorded the Turkish Coast Guard intervening in an attempt by the Greek Coast Guard to push back irregular migrants. The April 2 footage captured by the National Defense Ministry shows Greek Coast Guard boats forcing some 20-25 asylum-seekers in inflatable boats north of the Greek island of Rhodes into Turkish territorial waters.
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