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Turkey: Ten dead as refugee boat sinks off western Turkey

30th Jan 2016
Turkey: Ten dead as refugee boat sinks off western Turkey

CANAKKALE (AA) – Ten people, including five children, drowned off Turkey’s western coast Saturday, the Turkish Coast Guard said, in what is the latest loss of refugees in the region.

Their boat was heading for Lesbos, one of the main Greek islands located just a few kilometers (miles) off Turkey’s Aegean coastline.

Among the casualties were nationals of Afghanistan, Myanmar and Syria. According to the coast guard, their vessel set off from near Bademli, a village in Canakkale province, before running into trouble during the crossing and sinking.

A patrol was able to save 43 refugees.

Turkey’s Aegean provinces – Canakkale, Balikesir, Izmir, Mugla and Aydin – are prime spots for refugees leaving Turkey for the EU, with many Greek islands lying within sight of the Turkish coast.

Over the past year, hundreds of thousands have made short but perilous journeys in a bid to reach northern and western Europe in search for a better life.

Of the more than 1.1 million refugees who arrived in the EU last year, more than 850,000 arrived by sea in Greece from Turkey, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Over the course of the year, 805 people died in the Aegean.

In the first month of 2016, more than 52,000 people arrived by sea in Greece and 218 have died off the Turkish coast, the IOM said.

 

Author Servet Günerigök

 

 

[Photo: Bodies of refugees are seen on a beach after a boat carrying refugees sank off close to coast of Ayvacik district, Canakkale, Turkey on January 30, 2016. At least 33 people, have drowned off the Aegean Sea coast of Turkey. Photographer: Mehmet Yavaş/AA]

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