Turkish authorities said on Tuesday that they have rescued 12 irregular migrants after they were forced by the Greek border guards to return to Turkish territorial waters.
Anadolu Agency reported that the rescued migrants said that they were beaten and stripped off by the Greek border guards, adding that the migrants, who were barefoot and half-naked, were given clothes, shoes, and coats by the gendarmerie and the Provincial Immigration Administration.
The Afghan nationals were rescued at the border province of Edirne where the temperature often hits zero degrees and rains are a frequent occurrence, it added.
One of the rescued migrants, Osama Gocey, 25, said that they were a group of 30 migrants who entered the Greek side, but were forced by the Greek border guards to return back to Turkey.
“Half of us entered (Greece). They beat us on the ground, took our clothes, then put us on a boat and sent us to Edirne from the Meric (river),” Gocey told the Anadolu agency.
Another migrant, Kamal Avgan, 20, also claimed that they were beaten up in Greece.
Turkey has long been a transit destination for migrants seeking to cross to Europe. According to the United Nations, Turkey currently hosts around 4 million refugees under temporary protection and over 330,000 refugees and asylum seekers.
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