Turkey, refugees rescue

Turkish Coastguards rescue 18 refugees expelled by Greece

The drifting refugees, including women and children, received medical assistance and food. It is an illegal but common practice by Greece.

A group of Turkish coastguards were able to rescue safe and sound at dawn on Tuesday a total of 18 refugees who had been forced by the Greek Coast Guard to return to Turkish territorial waters, an illegal but very common practice by the Greek authorities, who have been denounced on numerous occasions for ill-treatment of refugees and even for trying to sink their boats in the Aegean.

According to Turkish media, citing sources from the Turkish Coast Guard Command, the 18 asylum-seekers were intercepted while adrift off the coast of the municipality of Datça, in the Turkish province of Muğla, south of the coast of the Aegean Sea.

The refugees, including women and children, came from Palestine, Syria and Iran, and received emergency medical assistance as well as blankets and food. They were later transferred to a Muğla migrant centre.

Hours earlier, another group of fifty migrants and refugees of various nationalities from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Gambia, Somalia, Central Africa, Tunisia and Palestine, were also intercepted in Aegean waters off the coast of the district of Dikili, in the Turkish province of İzmir, when they were trying to reach the Greek island of Lesbos on board an inflatable boat.