38 refugees drown in Aegean after boats sink

Thirty-eight refugees die drowning in Aegean Sea as two refugee boats capsize off Turkey’s western coast

Updated Feb 10, 2016

Two refugee boats sunk off Turkey’s western coast in the Aegean Sea claiming the lives of at least 38 people according to Turkish coast guard officials and media accounts.

Turkish coast guard said 27 refugees drowned when a boat left from the Edremit district of western province Balikesir and capsized in the Aegean sea.

Turkish media has also reported that another refugee boat that departed from the Dikili district of western province Izmir in order to reach Greece capsized in the Aegean, 11 people drowned in the incident. 

Turkish coast guards have reportedly made a rescue operation following the Dikili incident saving lives of three refugees.

Turkey is a transit point for refugees aiming to reach European countries from Syria and Iraq because of its geography bridging the Middle East and Europe.

Syrian refugees escaping the violence in their country fled Syria in large numbers following the escalation of the Syrian Civil War in 2012.

One of their most preferred destinations was neighbouring Turkey, which hosts the most Syrian refugees in the world according to registration records of the United Nations.

Turkey has spent about $10 billion of its own resources on the refugees whose number in the country has reached over 2.5 million people.

TRTWorld, Reuters