Coast Guard rescues 30 irregular migrants in Aegean Sea
The Turkish Coast Guard has rescued dozens of irregular migrants in the Aegean Sea who were pushed back to Turkish territorial waters by Greece.
Acting on information that there were migrants on a dinghy off the coast of the Dikili district of the province of İzmir, units launched an operation and rescued 24 people who were pushed back to the Turkish waters by Greek authorities.
In a separate incident, near the Ayvacık district of the western province of Balıkesir, the Coast Guard rescued six irregular migrants on a dinghy. The Coast Guard said that those six rescued migrants were also pushed back by Greece to the Turkish waters.
On a related note, the number of pushback incidents in the area under the responsibility of the Coast Guard Aegean Regional Command increased by 104 percent in 2021 from 2020, İhlas News Agency reported.
The number of irregular migrants in those pushback incidents also rose by 77 percent last year compared with the previous year, while the number of migrants, who lost their lives, dropped 209 percent.
Units from the regional command in 2021 apprehended 81 people who were involved in human trafficking, up 153 percent from 2020.
Some 93 percent of the irregular migrant-related incidents in Turkish seas in 2021 and 2020 occurred in the area under the responsibility of the Coast Guard Aegean Regional Command.
The news agency reported that security forces from the Aegean Regional Command also captured 52 FETÖ suspects in 2021 and another 28 in 2020 who tried to flee the country by sea, hiding among irregular migrants.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader, Fethullah Gülen, are responsible for the failed coup attempt in July 2016, which left 251 people dead and more than 2,700 injured.