Saturday, June 15 2024

Mitarakis accuses Turkish coast guard of ignoring migrants’ distress call

Turkey’s coast guard did not respond to a distress signal sent out by a dinghy carrying migrants in the Aegean Sea Wednesday, Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis has said.

A search and rescue operation was later launched by the Greek coast guard after the vessel either sank or overturned off the island of Lesvos. Authorities said 32 people – 15 men, 14 women and three children – had been rescued from the sea, while two women were missing.

“Based on the testimonies of the rescued migrants, the Turkish coast guard vessel that located them initially (the migrants called an emergency number) did not help, or rescue them but allowed them instead to illegally cross the maritime borders of the European Union,” Mitarakis said in a post on social media.