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The Turkish Coast Guard rescued at least 33 asylum seekers off the country’s western coast on Tuesday.

The Coast Guard Command stated on its website that Greek authorities had pushed the group of asylum seekers traveling in a rubber boat back to Turkish waters in the Aegean Sea.

A rescue vessel was sent to the group, acting on a tip, and converged on it outside the Dikili district of Izmir province.

After reaching the shore, the asylum-seekers were transferred to the provincial migration office.

Turkey has been a key point of transit for asylum seekers seeking to enter Europe in order to start new lives, particularly those fleeing war and persecution.

The country has repeatedly condemned Greece’s illegal practice of pushing asylum seekers back, saying that by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children, it violates humanitarian values and international law.

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