A boat carrying migrants sank off the Ayvalık district of the Aegean coastal province of Balıkesir in the early hours of Monday after it was allegedly damaged and pushed back into Turkish territorial waters by the Greek coast guard, Turkish media reported.
The Turkish coast guard rescued 35 migrants in the capsized boat and has launched a search for four people who were reported missing.
Claims that migrants trying to cross the Aegean to reach Europe have been pushed back from Greece have resurfaced with this latest incident. The 35 migrants who were rescued from the sinking boat said in their statement that the Greek coast guard damaged their rubber boat, seized their fuel and pushed them back into Turkish territorial waters.
The Turkish Coast Guard Command was informed after midnight of a boat with migrants on board about one mile west of Çıplak Island.
Arriving at the scene, the coast guard observed that the boat was in a half-submerged state and that there were people in the water.
The migrants in the boat were loaded on board the coast guard cutter.
The Coast Guard Command sent three boats, a helicopter and a plane as well as a rescue team to the area for search and rescue operations that are still ongoing.