At least 114 asylum seekers were held and 136 others rescued in Turkey’s Aegean region on Friday, security sources said.
In a routine control off the Datca district of the southwestern Mugla province, the coast guard teams found 114 asylum seekers in a sailing yacht.
While they were transferred to a provincial migration office, two others were arrested over links to the incident.
Separately, at least 26 asylum seekers were rescued off the Aegean province of Izmir.
Acting on a tip-off that a group of asylum seekers were drifting off the town of Dikili, the rescue teams dispatched a boat.
Sailing on rubber boats, the asylum seekers were pushed back by Greek forces to Turkish territorial waters, according to security officials.
Once taken ashore, they were transferred to a provincial migration office after routine procedures.
In the northwestern Canakkale province, 110 asylum seekers were rescued by the Turkish Coast Guard off the shore of Ayvacik.
They were travelling on two rubber boats to reach the Greek island of Lesbos and were pushed back to Turkish territorial waters by Greek elements.
Following legal procedures, the asylum seekers were transferred to a local repatriation center.
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.
Turkey and human 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./aa