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Greek Coast Guard Denies Turkey’s Refugees Pushback Claims

September 14, 2022

ATHENS – In what is becoming an endless game of tag, Greece’s Coast Guard dismissed another in a long line of claims about refugee pushbacks, this time from Turkey’s Coast Guard, which is allowing human traffickers to keep sending them.

That’s in violation of an essentially-suspended 2016 swap deal with the European Union in which Turkey is supposed to contain some 4.4 million refugees and migrants who went there fleeing war, strife and economic hardship in their homelands, primarily Syria and Afghanistan.

In this case, Turkey said that pushbacks resulted in the death of six people, including children, but again offered no proof, the assertions coming as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’ bombast has brought a near-conflict level.

categorically denied pushing back migrants who were trying to reach the country, resulting in the death of six people including children.

Turkey’s Coast Guard said the refugees’ call for help in the sea brought Greece’s Coast Guard which allegedly put them in four lifeboats and dropped them near Turkey’s territorial waters.

“Hellenic Coast Guard categorically denies the announcement of the Turkish coast guard referring to the alleged involvement in an alleged push-back incident, that resulted in the death of six migrants,” Greece’s Coast Guard said in a statement, adding that the incident took place in the sea area of Marmaris, within Turkish territorial waters.

The 73 migrants set off from Lebanon but needed to refuel off the coast of Greece’s Rhodes island, the Turkish Coast Guard said, according to Reuters. One woman, three children and two babies died, it added, no causes given.

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