On 10 May 2020, an overcrowded dinghy carrying 24 persons from Afghanistan, Iran, Congo, Central African Republic and Mali, among them one woman and ten minors, leaves from Ayvacık district of Çanakkale province at around 4:00h CEST.
At 8:16h, Alarm Phone is alerted to the boat, which is in the middle of the sea between Lesvos and Turkey, already unable to move in any direction. The passengers state that they were attacked by a Hellenic Coast Guard boat in Turkish waters and their fuel was taken away. Their boat is taking on water and they ask for rescue as they are left adrift. The Alarm Phone alerts the Turkish Coast Guard at 8:22h CEST and is soon informed that Turkish authorities reached the vessel for rescue.
One of the survivors gave Alarm Phone the following testimonial:
The Turkish media later wrote about this case, pointing out that the Turkish Coast Guard had rescued these people and other boats which the Hellenic Coast Guard had forced into life-threatening situations. People on board later reported to Alarm Phone that they had been put in distress by the Hellenic Coast Guard. They however also emphasised that while Turkish mainstream media was celebrating each rescue and presenting the Turkish authorities as the “good guys”, in their case the Turkish authorities had stolen the last bit of money they had and returned them to where they had tried to escape from.
Turkish media: https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/turkey-rescues-77-migrants-forced-by-greece-into-turkish-territorial-waters/news