Over 140 refugees, mostly coming from war-torn countries, were rescued in the Aegean Sea by Turkish coast guards, as Athens continues its illegal practice of endangering refugees in the waters.

Humanitarian and rights groups have called Greece to stop its illegal pushback policy against refugees and migrants.
Humanitarian and rights groups have called Greece to stop its illegal pushback policy against refugees and migrants. (AA)

Turkiye has rescued at least 143 asylum seekers from the Aegean Sea in two separate incidents after they were pushed back by the Greek coast authorities.

In Cesme and Dikili districts in the western province of Izmir, coast guard teams rescued 137 refugees and migrants who were illegally pushed back by Greek officials, the Turkish Coast Guard Command said on Tuesday.

Separately, teams saved six additional refugees who similarly were pushed back by Greek officials in the Aegean Sea off Bodrum district in southwestern Mugla province.

Turkiye and human rights groups have repeatedly condemned Greece's illegal practice of pushing back asylum seekers, saying it violates international law and humanitarian values by endangering the lives of vulnerable refugees, including women and children.

Turkiye has been a key transit point for refugees and migrants aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

It already hosts four million refugees, more than any other country, and is taking new security measures on its borders to humanely prevent a new refugee influx.

READ MORE: Greece adopts 'brutality against asylum seekers' as policy

Source: TRTWorld and agencies