Turkey rescues 70 irregular migrants pushed back by Greece
Turkish Coast Guard units on Friday rescued 70 asylum seekers illegally pushed back to Turkey's territorial waters by Greek forces, security sources said.
Twenty-two of the asylum seekers were rescued off the Dikili and Çeşme districts of the western Izmir province, said a source on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
In Muğla province, the Coast Guard Command learnt that 48 asylum seekers were stranded off the coast of Marmaris and Bodrum districts after being pushed backed by Greek coastal authorities, another source said.
Meanwhile, security forces in the Manavgat district of Antalya province held 28 irregular migrants – all Syrian nationals – and arrested a suspect for organizing illegal crossings.
Separately, police in the northwestern Kocaeli province held three irregular migrants hiding in a vehicle and arrested the driver.
All the irregular migrants were transferred to provincial migration offices.
Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.
Turkey, which already hosts 4 million refugees, more than any other country in the world, is taking new security measures on its borders to prevent a fresh influx of migrants.