Turkey rescues 131 asylum seekers in Aegean Sea

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Turkey on Monday rescued 131 asylum seekers in the Aegean Sea after they were illegally pushed back by Greek coastal authorities into Turkish territorial waters, an official said, according to Anadolu Agency.

Acting on a tip, the Turkish Coast Guard rescued at least 102 migrants from rubber boats off the coast of Dikili in the western Izmir province, said a coast guard statement.

Another 29 asylum seekers were rescued from two rubber boats off Izmir’s Foca district, the statement added.

After routine checks, they were taken to the provincial migration authority.

Turkey has 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 into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.