The Turkish coast guard has rescued in the night 73 migrants who were trying to reach from the coast of Turkey on the Aegean Sea the nearby Greek islands.
This was reported by Anadolu Agency, according to which, following reports of boats loaded with migrants who had difficulty navigating, 20 people were rescued in Bodrum and another 25 in Marmaris. In Balikesir, according to a Turkish Coast Guard statement, 28 migrants were rescued after allegedly being turned away by the Greek navy. Ankara regularly denounces such behavior by the Athens coast guard in the Aegean Sea, accusations always denied by the Greek authorities. Recently, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan mentioned the issue in a speech to the ambassadors of European Union (EU) countries in Turkey, calling for more support from Brussels in assisting migrants and updating an understanding found with the EU in 2016. Under the agreement, the EU funds Turkey to manage refugees on Turkish soil in exchange for a commitment from Ankara to stop migrants attempting to reach Europe illegally. According to data from Turkish authorities, more than 5 million refugees are in Turkey, among these more than 3 million and 700 thousand are Syrians while 500 thousand come from Afghanistan.