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Turkey rescues dozens of refugees pushed back by Greece

  • 27 Nov 2021

The refugees, who were in a life raft, were taken ashore near the Cesme district of Izmir province following illegal pushback by Greece.

Footage captured at different times shows that Greek forces pushed back refugees, including women and children. ( AA )

Turkey has rescued 29 refugees, who were illegally pushed back by Greece into Turkish waters in the Aegean Sea.

The asylum seekers, who were in a life raft, were taken ashore near the Cesme district of Izmir province early on Saturday, the Turkish Coast Guard Command said in a statement.

Twenty-one irregular refugees were also rescued from a rubber boat that experienced engine failure in Dikili province.

All occupants were later taken to the provincial migration office.

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.

READ MORE: Humanitarian activists to face charges in Greece for helping refugees

It already hosts 4 million refugees, more than any country in the world, and is taking new security measures on its borders to humanely prevent a fresh influx of refugees.

Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay a few days ago slammed Greek forces after footage emerged showing refugees, including women and children, being pushed back dangerously.

Oktay tweeted a video on Sunday showing Greek coast guard opening fire on refugees and pushing a boat carrying irregular migrants into Turkish territorial waters, creating turbulence around the boat.

“Humanity is once again trampled in the Aegean! Shame on you!” wrote Vice President Oktay.

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

Recalling his meeting with European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas on Saturday, Oktay wrote that he conveyed expectations that Greece's inhumane pushbacks are unacceptable and that Frontex and the Greek authorities fulfill their responsibilities.

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