Turkey rescues 174 asylum seekers in Aegean Sea
A coast guard team in the seaside town of Ayvalık, northwestern Balıkesir province, rescued at least 28 asylum seekers from a rubber boat. They were taken to the command headquarters on Cunda Island.
Separately, a team was dispatched off Kuşadası district in Aydın province after learning that 83 asylum seekers were stranded on two lifeboats. They were later taken to the provincial migration office.
The coast guard also rescued four asylum seekers near Dikili district and 59 others off Foça district in Izmir. After routine checks, they were taken to the provincial migration authority.
Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.
Turkey, which already hosts 4 million refugees, more than any country in the world, is taking new security measures on its borders to prevent a fresh influx of migrants.