Turkey rescues 68 migrants stranded in Aegean Sea

Postado Dezembro 14, 2017

Turkish coast guards were trying to rescue dozens of migrants on Thursday stranded on rocks off western Turkey when their Greece-bound vessel hit trouble, state media reported. The coastguard said the rescue operation could only begin in daylight due to the rocky area and bad sea conditions.

In the initial stage of the operation, four children were winched to safety by the helicopter team, Anadolu reported.

Five children and a woman were rescued in this way while the rest were transferred to coastguard boats with the assistance of fishermen in the area, the coastguard said. In the morning, Coast Guard crews airdropped food and blankets to the migrants and later airlifted six.

Turkey has been a main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, since the beginning of the civil war in Syria.

At the height of the migrant crisis in 2015, more than 857,000 migrants reached Greece from Turkey.

Video showed a helicopter lifting a person off the rocks using a rope.

Since then, the number of refugees detained crossing the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece has fallen 85 percent, according to the Turkish Coast Guard.

Thousands of refugees and migrants are stranded in camps in Greece as the country attempts to deal with a backlog of asylum requests, and the influx has empowered far right and anti-immigrant parties across Europe. A recent CNN investigation in the country documented the horrific and widespread abuse of migrants and refugees, describing how some are sold as slaves in local markets after their capture.