Greece leaves several migrants stranded at sea

Turkish coast guard rescues migrants abandoned by Greece in the Aegean Sea

LThe Greek coast guard pushed a group of migrants and refugees, including children, in a rubber boat into Turkish waters and abandoned them in the middle of the Aegean Sea, according to images obtained by security forces.

Greek units forcibly transferred migrants who had entered Greece into a rubber boat and left them after they reached the southern tip of the island of Lesbos without prior authorization.

The Turkish Naval Forces Command (DzKK) recorded the incident during reconnaissance and surveillance missions in the Aegean Sea. They rescued the migrants and refugees, who were on the verge of death from the harsh conditions of the open sea, and transferred them to the coast.

Turkey and Greece have been key transit points for migrants seeking to cross into Europe, fleeing war and persecution to start a new life. Turkey accused Greece of inhumane treatment of migrants, large-scale returns and summary deportations without access to asylum procedures, which constitutes a violation of international law.

It also accuses the European Union of turning a blind eye to what it says is a flagrant abuse of human rights.

In October, almost 30 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) asked Greece to open an “urgent investigation” into allegations that it was systematically pushing migrants into Turkey.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Greece of summarily returning migrants across Turkey’s land and sea borders, citing interviews with asylum seekers.

Other refugee rights groups and organizations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), have repeatedly called on Greece to investigate what they claim are credible reports and testimonies of expulsions.

The Turkish coast guard said it rescued more than 300 migrants “pushed by Greek elements into Turkish waters” in September alone.

Violence and vigilantes compound the problems of migrants in the Balkans

Turkish coast guard rescues migrants abandoned by Greece in the Aegean Sea

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