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Turkey on Wednesday rescued 30 asylum seekers in the Aegean Sea, who were pushed back by the Greek coastal authorities into Turkish territorial waters, a security official said.

The asylum seekers, including women and children, were rescued from a rubber boat by the Turkish Coast Guard off the coast of the Cesme district in western Izmir province, said the official on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

After routine checks, they were taken to the provincial migration authority.

Turkey has 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.

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.

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