3 illegal migrants die as boat sinks off İzmir coast
A small boat sank off the İzmir coast on Monday, killing at least three illegal migrants attempting to reach the Greek island of Chios and leaving nine people lost at sea, according to initial reports. İzmir Governor Mustafa Toprak stated that a boat carrying illegal migrants, some of whom are reportedly of Syrian origin, sank off the coast of one of İzmir’s tourist destinations, Çeşme, during an attempt to cross to the Greek island.
Local fishermen, sailing off the coast at around 8:00 a.m., noticed the bodies in the water, after which they notified the gendarmerie of the incident.
Although the fishermen reported four dead bodies in the sea, initial reports have revealed that only three illegal migrants have been confirmed dead and 27 others have been rescued.
The rescued individuals reported that there were 39 migrants in the boat when it sank. The 27 rescued were saved by the coast guard, and search and rescue efforts in the waters are ongoing for the remaining victims, assumed to number nine.
Turkey has been witnessing accidents and captures involving illegal migrants using Turkey as a transit point in their ultimate goal to reach Europe.
The most recent incident concerning the illegal transit of migrants to Europe took place approximately a week ago when five illegal migrants drowned after a boat heading for a Greek island sank offshore Balıkesir’s Burhaniye district, the Coast Guard Command (SGK) said on Nov. 29.
A boat carrying 14 Syrians believed to be fleeing the civil war in their homeland set off from Burhaniye and headed for Mytilene, in Greece, on Nov. 28. The boat sank after taking on water as it was travelling offshore of Burhaniye, some five nautical miles (nine kilometers) from the western province of Balıkesir. Five people drowned, including three children.