Three dead as Greece dumps asylum seekers in Aegean Sea
Greece is pushing migrants back to their deaths, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on March 18, adding that irregular migrants attacked by Greek coast guards or left at sea are being rescued by Turkish authorities.
“Greece last night roughed up seven irregular immigrants, took their belongings and plastic handcuffed them and threw them into the sea without life vests on,” Soylu wrote on Twitter, posting a video showing scenes of the rescue and the statements of the migrants in a hospital.
The bodies of three migrants were recovered, according to a statement made by the İzmir Governor Office.
Turkish security forces rescued a total of 255 irregular migrants throughout the country late on March 18, including those who were pushed back by Greek authorities.
Some 204 asylum seekers were rescued while trying to illegally cross the Aegean into Greece off the coast of Urla district of İzmir.
Teams are braving tough weather conditions to find the missing individual as quickly as possible, the statement added.
Separately, security sources said at least 23 asylum seekers claiming to have been beaten and deported by Bulgarian authorities were rescued in northwestern Turkey.
The Syrian and Iraqi nationals were held by gendarmerie teams in the villages of Ahlatlı and Beyci in Kofçaz district and in an area near the Dereköy Border Gate in Kırklareli province bordering Bulgaria, said the sources.
The asylum seekers told Turkish forces that they had crossed the border but were detained by Bulgarian police who beat them, took away their valuables and left them on the Turkish side of the crossing.
Meanwhile, 28 irregular migrants were held in Tatvan district in eastern Bitlis province, according to the provincial governorate