Thursday, September 28, 2006
Turkish lawyer Noyan Ozkan has applied to the Turkish branch of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refuges (UNHCR) over an incident in which a group of illegal immigrants accused the Greek authorities of throwing them into the sea. On Tuesday night, 31 immigrants were rescued by Turkish Coast Guard off the Turkish coast near the western Turkish city of Izmir. Those rescued by Turkish officials claimed that Greek officials stopped their boat as they were trying to land on a Greek island named Chios, taking them back toward the Turkish coast before dumping them overboard.Noyan Ozkan, former head of the Izmir Bar Association, said that he applied to UNHCR for an investigation into the incident, labeling the treatment of the refugees as ‘inhuman'. In his petition, the lawyer requested a committee of experts to be set up to probe the claims and take the statements of the illegal immigrants. At least six immigrants were drowned while trying to swim to shore, while two others were missing when the boat carrying 39 illegal immigrants sank in the Aegean Sea on Tuesday morning.