The Turkish Coast Guard on Saturday rescued at least 48 asylum seekers whose boats were pushed by Greek coastal authorities into Turkish waters in the Aegean Sea, according to security sources.
A coast guard team was dispatched to an area off Cesme in the western Izmir province after they learned a group of asylum seekers was stranded on a dinghy, said a source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
A total of 19 asylum seekers were brought ashore, the source added.
Separately, coast guards rescued 29 asylum seekers on a dinghy in the Dikili district after they asked for help.
They were later transferred to the provincial migration office.
Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.
Turkey hosts nearly 4 million Syrians, more than any other country in the world.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar