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17 asylum seekers rescued off western Turkey

Seventeen asylum seekers were rescued in the Dikili district of western Izmir province after they were pushed into Turkey’s territorial waters by Greek authorities.

Turkish units detected the group in a rubber boat off Bademli district that was reportedly pushed back by Greek elements, according to a statement by the Coast Guard Command of Izmir.

The asylum seekers were referred to the provincial migration office.

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.

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