The Turkish coast guard saved 66 irregular migrants who were pushed back by the Greek coast guard off Izmir province on Wednesday.
The Coast Guard Command in Izmir said in a statement that they received a tipoff that a group of irregular migrants was drifting off Dikili and Menderes districts and dispatched units to the areas.
The rescue units saved 37 irregular migrants off Dikili and 29 others off Menderes. They were later referred to the provincial migration office.
Turkey has repeatedly condemned Greece's illegal practice of pushing back asylum-seekers, saying it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children.
Turkey's five Aegean provinces – Çanakkale, Balıkesir, Izmir, Muğla and Aydın – are prime spots for refugees to leave Turkey for the EU, with Greek islands lying within sight of the Turkish coast.
In recent years, hundreds of thousands have made short but perilous journeys across the Aegean to reach northern and western Europe in search of a better life.
Hundreds of people have died at sea as many boats carrying refugees sank or capsized. The Turkish Coast Guard Command has rescued thousands of others.
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