The Turkish coast guard rescued 46 irregular migrants, including children, off western Çanakkale province after they were pushed back by Greek authorities.
According to the Turkish coast guard, the migrants were on a rubber boat off the Ayvacık district at the time of the rescue. They were then referred to the provincial migration office for deportation.
A similar incident happened over the weekend when Greek authorities once again assaulted asylum-seekers before illegally pushing them back toward Turkish waters Saturday.
Turkey and Greece have been key transit points for asylum-seekers and irregular migrants aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.
The Turkish coast guard rescued 12,655 people from the seas in 2020, 11,493 of whom were irregular migrants.
Turkey and human rights groups have repeatedly condemned Greece’s illegal practice of pushbacks, saying it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children, yet similar incidents keep occurring.
Numerous reports by journalists, researchers and witnesses have cataloged the way in which migrants and asylum-seekers have been forced back across the border to Turkey or left stranded in the Aegean Sea without aid by the Greek coast guard, despite the conservative government’s denials in Athens.
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