Turkish forces rescue 12 irregular migrants pushed back by Greece
Turkish forces on Tuesday rescued a dozen irregular migrants after Greek authorities pushed them to the Turkish side.
The Afghan nationals were rescued at the border province of Edirne where the temperature often hits zero degrees and rains are a frequent occurrence.
The migrants, who were barefoot and half-naked, were given clothes, shoes, and coats by the gendarmerie and the Provincial Immigration Administration.
'They beat us on the ground'
One of the rescued migrants, Osama Gocey, 25, said the Greek border forces forced them back to Turkey and that they were also beaten up.
Gocey said that they were about 30 people who crossed to the Greek side and were held at the border. “Half of us entered (Greece). They beat us on the ground, took our clothes, then put us on a boat and sent us to Edirne from the Meric (river).”
Another migrant, Kamal Avgan, 20, also claimed that they were beaten up in Greece.
Greece’s illegal practice
Turkey and human rights groups have 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 has been a key transit point for asylum seekers aiming to cross to Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.
4 million refugees in Turkey
Turkey already hosts 4 million refugees, more than any other country in the world, and is taking new security measures on its borders to humanely prevent a fresh influx of migrants.