Turkish drones recorded Greek authorities leaving irregular migrants to die on a deserted island. Following the incident, the migrants were rescued by Turkish coast guard units.
According to a Defense Ministry statement, drones used to detect forest fires in Turkey's south and west noticed that the LS-134 vessel belonging to the Greek coast guard approached Turkey's Başak Island, south of Kaş in the Mediterranean.
After following up on the information, it was determined that the irregular immigrants on the Greek coast guard's boat were left on Başak Island, where they had no chance of survival.
While the events were being monitored by the drones, Turkish Coast Guard Command units were immediately directed to the region to rescue the immigrants who had been abandoned to die.
Ülkemizde devam eden yangınları tespit için görev yapan Deniz Kuvvetlerimize ait İHA’lar, Yunanistan’a ait LS-134 botunun Kaş’ın güneyindeki Başak Adamıza yaklaştığını tespit etti. Yapılan takipte Yunan botunun bir grup düzensiz göçmeni Başak Adası’na bıraktığı tespit edildi. pic.twitter.com/VC01XvYJNG— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) August 8, 2021
Ministry sources stated that Greece intentionally left the migrants on the uninhabited island to die. Emphasizing that this is not the first time that Greece's inhumane treatment of immigrants has been recorded in the Aegean and Mediterranean, the sources underlined that Greece is not acting in accordance with international law and the spirit of good neighborly relations, at a time when Turkey is struggling with forest fires.
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.
A joint investigation by several international news outlets reported in October 2020 that Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, had been complicit in maritime pushback operations to drive away migrants attempting to enter the EU via Greek waters. A month later, Brussels-based news outlet EUobserver revealed that Frontex exchanged letters with Greek authorities about Athens' orders to push back migrants to Turkish waters.
Pushbacks are considered contrary to international refugee protection agreements, which dictate that people should not be expelled or returned to a country where their life and safety might be in danger due to their race, religion, nationality or membership in a social or political group.
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