The Coast Guard in Kuşadası, a western Turkish town on the Aegean shore, intercepted 61 migrants traveling to the Greek islands aboard a rubber boat yesterday. The group, including 28 children, was towed by a Coast Guard boat to the coast.
Officials said the majority of migrants were Syrians and the rest were from the Palestinian territories, Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Egypt and Eritrea. They were handed over to the local migration authority.
The country has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the civil war in Syria.
Due to its proximity to Turkey, Greece has long been the first destination for refugees and migrants setting out on a journey to Europe from Turkey; many of the migrants are Syrians or nationals of Middle Eastern or Asian countries.