Türkiye rescues over 50 irregular migrants illegally pushed back by Greece

Rescued migrants say they were subjected to abuse by Greek security forces before being pushed back to Turkish waters.

Türkiye rescues over 50 irregular migrants illegally pushed back by Greece

The Turkish Coast Guard on Saturday rescued 52 irregular migrants who were pushed back by Greece in defiance of international law. 

Local Coast Guard teams rushed to the help of 15 irregular migrants on rubber boats off the coast of Mugla’s Bodrum district in the Aegean Türkiye and saved them, the Interior Ministry said.

It also said one of the rescued, who was identified to be a Turkish citizen, was electroshocked by Greek security forces when he and 14 others were caught on the island of Istankoy (Kos) on Thursday.

Other migrants also told Turkish authorities that they were also subjected to mistreatment and stripped of their valuable items by the Greek security forces, according to the ministry.

In a separate incident, 37 migrants, all foreign nationals who were pushed back by Greece, were rescued off the coast of Didim district in the western province of Aydin.

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

Human rights groups and media outlets have frequently reported on illegal pushbacks and other human rights breaches by Greek authorities.

Ankara and global rights groups have repeatedly condemned Greece’s illegal practice of pushing back irregular migrants, saying it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children.