Turkey rescues 34 asylum seekers in Aegean
İZMİR - Anadolu Agency
The Turkish Coast Guard has rescued 34 asylum seekers off the Aegean coast, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The coast guard rescued the group of people, who were in rubber boats which had been driven to Turkish territorial waters by the Greek Coast Guard, the agency cited anonymous security sources as saying.
Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.
Late last month, Turkey announced it would no longer stop asylum seekers from reaching Europe via land, while banning boat crossings as too dangerous, accusing the EU of failing to keep promises under the 2016 migrant deal.
Ankara also warned that due to incessant attacks on civilians in Idlib, Syria, a million refugees were moving toward Turkey’s borders.
Turkey currently hosts over 3.7 million Syrians, making it the world's top refugee-hosting country.