Group of Turkish asylum-seekers reach Greek island via boats: Coast guards

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Aug 30, 2020, 03:43 PM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( AFP )

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These asylum-seekers were rescued by the Greek coast guard as it approached the shore on Saturday. 

Two fishing boat carrying a group of Turkish asylum-seekers reached the Greek island of Chios, Greece's coast guard said Sunday.

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These asylum-seekers were rescued by the Greek coast guard as it approached the shore on Saturday. 

According to the local news site politischios.gr, 26 Turkish citizens including children were seeking political asylum from Greece and had claimed that they were being persecuted by the Erdogan government. 

Also see: Now, Turkey stages military exercise in eastern Mediterranean

Two passengers had drilled holes in the boat as it approached the shore of the island to prompt a rescue operation. These passengers were later arrested.

The Turkish group was tested for coronavirus and have been sent to a quarantine centre in Lefkonia.

Also see: Turkey versus Greece: A long history of disputes

Three weeks ago, another boat with 23 Turkish citizens seeking asylum had reached Chios. 

Such incidents of Turkish people reaching the Greek islands and illegally entering via the land border along the Evros River have been reported since the 2016 failed coup against Erdogan's government. These people are mainly civil servants and military personnel. 

Relations between Turkey and Greece have worsened after the deployment of the Turkish research vessel Oruc Reis into Greek waters accompanied by Turkish warships on August 10. 

The confrontation has reignited a longstanding rivalry over disputed maritime rights and gas resources between Greece and Turkey and they have begun staging competing naval drills.

(Inputs from AFP) 

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