Turkish coast guards rescue over 3,500 refugees in Aegean

Officials announce that Turkish coast guards saved over 3500 refugees in Aegean and Mediterranean in last 10 days

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish coast guards carry rescued refugees to Turkey's western coast

Turkish coast guards have rescued 3537 refugees of varied nationality from the Aegean and the Mediterranean Sea over the last 10 days, according to statistics from the Coast Guard Command.

An official statement by Izmir Governorate said on Monday that Turkish coast guards carried out 134 search-and-rescue operations between September 18 and 28.

Eighty nine operations launched in the regions of Canakkale and Mugla saved 1708 and 798 refugees respectively.

Accordingly, in Aydin 512 refugees were rescued from drowning while in Izmir and Antalya coast guards helped over 1000 refugees.

The official statement also mentioned that overall 54,255 refugees have been rescued from Aegean waters while 116 bodies have been found and 69 human traffickers arrested since January 1 this year.

Turkey is a transit point for refugees aiming to reach European countries from Syria because of its location bridging the Middle East and Europe.

Syrian refugees escaping the violence in their country fled their country in large numbers following the escalation of the conflict there in 2011. One of their most preferred destinations was neighbouring Turkey, which hosts more Syrian refugees than any other country according to United Nations registration records.

Nearly two million refugees are hosted in Turkey, home to the world’s largest population of refugees.

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus previously announced that the total amount of aid provided by Turkey to refugees in the country is 7.6 billion dollars, of which the international community has only contributed 416 million dollars.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) announced on Sept. 8 that at least 850,000 refugees will attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach European countries within the next two years.

In a report the UNHCR said that "In 2015, UNHCR anticipates that approximately 400,000 new arrivals will seek international protection in Europe via the Mediterranean. In 2016 this number could reach 450,000 or more.”

According to the UNHCR, many refugees from Syria and surrounding countries seek to move to European Countries due to the poor conditions they are facing and a lack of sufficient funds to reorganise their lives.

Therefore the UNHCR has urged other nations to increase their annual intakes and accept more refugees.

TRTWorld and agencies