The Turkish coast guard rescued Monday a total of 313 irregular migrants that had been pushed back by Greece in the Aegean Sea.
The naval force, in the meantime, rescued 213 asylum-seekers near Aydın, Dikili, Foça, Menderes, Çeşme, Urla and Seferihisar districts in Izmir.
Separately, a coast guard team in the seaside town of Marmaris, Muğla in southwestern Turkey, rescued at least 75 asylum-seekers from a rubber boat.
A team was also dispatched off the coast of Bodrum in Muğla province upon receiving information that 25 asylum-seekers were stranded on a lifeboat.
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 key 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.
Turkey and Greece have been key transit points for migrants, fleeing war and persecution, looking to cross into Europe 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 EU of turning a blind eye to this blatant abuse of human rights.
Pushbacks are considered contrary to international refugee protection agreements that 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.
In a recently published report, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) revealed that migrants at EU borders still face difficult conditions and violations of rights in detention and reception centers.
The report also noted that pushing migrants back to Turkey has become the de facto border policy of Greece and that torture, ill-treatment and pushbacks continue.
Furthermore, Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson last week announced that the EU expects Greece to investigate reports of illegal migrant pushbacks at its border.
“I will not accept that Greece (does) not do investigations on this," she said. "We have to protect our external borders, but we also have to protect our values, the rule of law and fundamental rights. And this is absolutely possible to do together."
Meanwhile, Greece is bolstering security on its border with Turkey by deploying 250 additional guards, the country's protection minister confirmed earlier Sunday.
"We are ready ... and we are further increasing (security) forces by hiring 250 new border guards to support the Greek police," Citizens' Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos said during a visit to the border area of Kastanies, according to a ministry statement.
Greece has invested in a new anti-migration arsenal, including cameras, radar and a 40-kilometer (25-mile) steel fence over 5 meters (16 feet) high, to cover part of the 200-kilometer border region crossed by the Maritsa (Meriç) River.
The Greek civil aviation authority on Saturday also said a tethered balloon known as an aerostat, equipped with a long-range thermal camera, had been deployed at the Alexandroupolis airport since August to assist border surveillance.
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