Turkish Coast Guard searching for 1 missing person, says Izmir governorate.
At least three people died and one more is missing after the Greek Coast Guard dumped a group of asylum seekers into the Aegean Sea, Turkish authorities said on Friday.
The Turkish Coast Guard managed to rescue two asylum seekers from Bogaz Island, located off the coast of Izmir, and two more from the surrounding waters, according to a statement by the governor’s office.
Bodies of two more people were also recovered, the statement said.
The third person to die was one of the two saved from the water, who passed away at a hospital, it added.
“According to the asylum seeker’s initial statements, Greek officials seized their belongings, tied their hands using plastic handcuffs, and threw them into the sea without any life raft or boat,” read the statement.
Turkish search teams are braving tough weather conditions to find the missing individual as quickly as possible, it added.
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 people, including women and children.