The asylum seekers were in a wooden boat and a life raft and were turned back by the Greek coast guard off the Bozburun Peninsula in Turkey’s southwestern coast.

Turkish Coast Guard Command rescued 83 asylum seekers pushed by Greek coastal authorities to Turkish territorial waters off the Aegean coast.
Turkish Coast Guard Command rescued 83 asylum seekers pushed by Greek coastal authorities to Turkish territorial waters off the Aegean coast. (AA)

Turkish Coast Guard Command rescued 83 asylum seekers who were pushed into Turkish territorial waters off the Aegean coast by Greek coastal authorities.

Security sources on Tuesday said coast guards were dispatched after asylum seekers asked to be rescued off the coast of Datca, in Turkey’s southwestern Mugla province.

They were in a wooden boat and a life raft and were turned back by the Greek coast guard off the Bozburun Peninsula in Turkey’s southwestern coast.

They were moved to the coast guard boat, and after reaching shore, were processed and transferred to the provincial migration office.

Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

Earlier this year, Turkey opened its gates to irregular migrants, accusing the EU of failing to keep promises under a 2016 migrant deal.

Turkey hosts nearly 4 million Syrians, more than any other country in the world.

FRONTEX turns blind eye on violations 

Recent footage shows the European Union’s border force violating the law by helping the Greek Coast Guard block and push back asylum seekers who reached Greek territorial waters instead of rescuing them.

Anadolu Agency examined footage taken by Turkish authorities this June 8 in the Aegean Sea, off Ayvacik in the northwestern Canakkale province.

The footage shows European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX) naval elements along with the Greek Coast Guard violate EU law and regulations by pushing back asylum seekers who reached Greek territorial waters by boat instead of rescuing them.

FRONTEX in effect helps the Greek Coast Guard violate international law.

The footage shows FRONTEX elements stop the asylum seekers’ boat after which Greek Coast Guard elements approach it.

The FRONTEX elements can be seen blocking the boat’s way, after which Greek forces arrive and take apart its fuel tank and unlawfully push the asylum seekers’ boat back into Turkish territorial waters.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies