Turkish Coast Guard units have rescued 139 irregular migrants in separate incidents, the Coast Guard Command said on Monday.
Of these, 115 migrants on life rafts and inflatable boats were rescued off Izmir’s Menderes, Dikili and Karaburun districts after being pushed into Turkish territorial waters by Greek forces, said Turkish officials. Coast Guard crews headed to the area after learning there was a group of migrants there, and took them to the provincial migration management directorate.
Separately, 24 irregular migrants pushed into Turkish territorial waters by Greek forces were rescued off the coast of Ayvalik in Balikesir, the Coast Guard added. The authorities assigned a TCSG-8 boat to the region after learning about the migrants.
Turkiye and global 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.