On Greek news portals and social media, there were groundless allegations by the Greek authorities where the Turkish authorities were held responsible for the incident in which a boat sank in Greek territorial waters in the south of Chios on October 26, 2021, resulting in the death of 4 irregular migrants and 1 missing irregular migrant.
Regarding the aforementioned event that occurred on October 26, 2021, please be informed that:
Following the notification that an irregular migrant boat had sunk in the south of Chios at 08:19 a.m., the Turkish Coast Guard Boat, which was closest to the region, was immediately dispatched to the scene of the incident and it was seen that the incident took place in Greek territorial waters and that the Greek authorities were carrying out search and rescue activities. In case of the possibility of irregular migrants drifting into international waters due to weather/sea conditions, search and rescue operation had also been initiated by the Turkish Coast Guard Command in international waters close to the location where the migrant boat sank.
As a result of the search and rescue activities carried out in the region by 1 Turkish Coast Guard Helicopter and 2 Turkish Coast Guard Boats on 26 - 27 October 2021, no findings were detected.
In order to prevent irregular migration, the Turkish Coast Guard Command carries out its duties uninterruptedly, within the scope of both national and international rules of law, on a 24/7 basis. As a result of the efforts made by the Turkish Security Forces, there has been a great decrease in the number of migrants crossing to the Aegean islands and the fatalities that occurred during the passages in 2021.
Despite all the efforts made by the Turkish Coast Guard Command and Security Forces, there have been many incidents where irregular migrants were pushed back by Greek assets in the Aegean Sea, and in most of these push-backs, irregular migrants were subjected to inhuman treatment, they were beaten, their valuables were taken and their hands were handcuffed, they were left to be dragged into Turkish territorial waters by being put on unseaworthy lifeboats and even thrown directly into the sea without a life jacket. These events, which were also reflected in migrant testimonies, were recorded many times by international press organizations and found wide coverage in the press all over the world.
The Turkish Coast Guard Command is always ready on a 24/7 basis to assist anyone in need of help at sea, respecting human rights and the law.
Respectfully announced to the public.