Dozens of migrants rescued off Turkish coast

Dozens of migrants rescued off Turkish coast
2 min read
07 November, 2021
Fifty-four migrants have been rescued off the Turkish Coast on Sunday. Dozens more were rescued in previous weeks, amid intensifying pushbacks against asylum-seekers trying to reach Europe.
Turkish coast guards rescue 99 irregular migrants on November 02, 2021 [Turkish Coast Guard Command/Anadolu Agency/AFP]

The Turkish Coast Guard rescued 54 migrants in the Aegean Sea on Sunday, Turkish media announced. The search and rescue operation was the latest in a long series, as hundreds of migrants keep trying to reach Europe by sea despite increasing pushbacks.

On Saturday, seven migrants were rescued from another sinking boat in the Aegean Sea off western Turkey. Search and rescue operations related to this incident were still ongoing on Sunday, as three more people were remain missing.

The Turkish Coast Guard have rescued dozens more off Turkey’s west coast over the past weeks, blaming Greece for the mounting casualties.

According to a report by Amnesty International published in June, Greece has unlawfully pushed back migrants, forcing them back across the border to Turkey. This policy aimed to deny them the opportunity to land in the country and to access asylum procedures in the European Union.

Pushbacks are an illegal practice according to international law but have been increasingly used by several states including Greece, the UK and Turkey.

Turkey is a key transit point for asylum-seekers attempting to cross into Europe from Asia and the Middle East. The country hosts around 4 million asylum-seekers, including a high number of Syrians, and a growing number of Afghans fleeing the Taliban.

Over the past years, the Mediterranean and Aegean seas have been at the heart of a global tragedy, with thousands of people attempting to cross into Europe to escape war, persecution or poverty. Hundreds of them have died at sea.