17 refugees die after boat capsizes off Turkish coast

17 Syrian refugees die after boat carrying them capsized in Aegean Sea

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Refugees start their journey from the coastal town of Bodrum, Turkey.

Seventeen refugees died when a boat carrying them from Turkey’s southwestern coast to a Greek island sank on Sunday. The boat was taking people from Bodrum’s Yalikavak district to the Greek island of Leros.

According to a statement by the Governor of Mugla, Amir Cicek the boat was 8 metres long and carrying 37 people, 20 of whom were rescued after it sank in the waters of the Aegean.

The bodies of the deceased were taken to Bodrum’s Turgutreis port.

An investigation has been launched.

The area is a popular tourist destination and also where the Syrian three-year-old boy, Aylan Kurdi had been found dead.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), in 2015 over 42,000 people, mostly refugees have arrived in Greece by sea and most of them set off from Turkey’s Aegean coast.

The agency also said a record 300,000 or more people have risked their lives while crossing the Mediterranean so far this year and around 2,500 refugees have died during the dangerous journey.

274 refugees have died in Turkish waters this year.


TRTWorld and agencies