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Türkiye rescues 139 irregular migrants pushed back by Greece

Turkish Coast Guard units rescued 139 irregular migrants in separate incidents, the Coast Guard Command said on Monday.

Some 115 migrants on life rafts and inflatable boats off Izmir’s Menderes, Dikili and Karaburun districts were saved after being pushed into Turkish territorial waters by Greek forces, said the coast guard in a statement.

Coast guard crews headed to the area after learning there was a group of migrants there, according to the statement.

The migrants were taken to the provincial migration management directorate.

Coast guard mobile radar also detected inflatable boats off the coast of Karaburun and Cesme and dispatched crews to rescue 85 other irregular migrants.

Separately, 24 irregular migrants pushed into Turkish territorial waters by Greek forces were rescued off the coast of Ayvalik in Balikesir, the Turkish Coast Guard said in a statement.

A coast guard TCSG-8 boat was assigned to the region after learning about the migrants.

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

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