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Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Feb. 16 attended NATO meetings in Brussels amid a crisis between the Alliance and Russia over the latter's military build-up in eastern Ukraine. Akar also had a bilateral meeting with his Greek counterpart after a fresh debate between the two neighbors over the status of the Aegean islands.
Senior officials from Turkey and Greece will hold the 64th round of exploratory talks on Feb. 22 in Athens, a dialogue mechanism that has been running since the early 2000s, amid an ongoing quarrel over the latter's continued efforts of the armament of the islands that must be kept demilitarized according to international law.
Turkish security forces have recovered the bodies of seven more irregular migrants, who froze to death after Greek border guards pushed them back, bringing the number of the fatalities to 19.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said the bodies of 12 irregular migrants were found near the İpsala border crossing between Turkey and Greece without shoes and stripped of their clothes.
Turkey's Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has slammed Greek authorities, claiming that the Greek has thrown three migrants into the Aegean Sea, which resulted in one of the victims' death.
Soylu said on Twitter that two of the migrants were rescued while the other one had died following an incident off the coast of the Çeşme district in Turkey's İzmir province.
The Turkish Coast Guard has rescued dozens of irregular migrants in the Aegean Sea who were pushed back to Turkish territorial waters by Greece.
Acting on information that there were migrants on a dinghy off the coast of the Dikili district of the province of İzmir, units launched an operation and rescued 24 people who were pushed back to the Turkish waters by Greek authorities.