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Turkey blocks migrants' return from Aegean by Greece

November 1, 2021 at 2:10 pm

Turkish Coast Guard on 4 April 2016 in Izmir. [OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images]

Turkey has taken additional measures to prevent the return of 400 irregular migrants seized by Greece in the Aegean Sea, the Turkish Coast Guard Command announced yesterday.

In an official statement, the coast guard said that a ship carrying 400 irregular migrants broke down along the Greek border city of Crete on Friday, adding that the Greek coast guard had intervened to rescue those onboard.

The statement pointed out that the Greek authorities had demanded the ship return to Turkey, claiming that the boat was waving the Turkish flag. However the Turkish coast guards deny this and said the ship was bearing the Cameroonian flag.

The statement stressed on the “need to implement the requirements of international law to provide assistance to those needy immigrants.”

“On Sunday, the Greek coast guard pushed the migrant ship 180 nautical miles towards the Turkish border, prompting the local authorities to strengthen their measures in the area and send two coast guard ships and a mobile radar,” the statement read.

The migrants were later transferred to theGreek island of Kos after they were left at sea for 48 hours. Those onboard were later transferred to a reception centre on the island. Six others were detained for questioning and one woman was admitted to hospital on the island of Karpathos.

Greek officials said those onboard were mostly young Afghan males. Many were reported to be hungry and dehydrated after the ordeal that began on Thursday.

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