Turkey rescued at least 143 asylum seekers from the Aegean Sea in two separate incidents, the Turkish Coast Guard Command said Tuesday.
In Cesme and Dikili districts in the western province of Izmir, coast guard teams rescued 137 asylum seekers who were illegally pushed back by Greek officials, said the command.
Separately, teams saved six additional asylum seekers who similarly were pushed back by Greek officials in the Aegean Sea off Bodrum district in southwestern Mugla province.
Turkey 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 migrants, including women and children.
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