Turkish Coast Guards on Tuesday found 36 refugee bodies washed ashore in the Aegean provinces of Balikesir and Izmir.
The refugees were allegedly attempting to cross into Europe from Turkey’s western province of Izmir.
Officials reported that the coast guard teams are continuing search operations at sea to locate more refugees, while security forces are also scouring the coastline for signs of other refugees.
The coast guards saved 56 others, who had been aboard, and took them to a nearby hospital to get treatment for hypothermia.
Turkey is a transit point for refugees aiming to reach European countries from Syria and Iraq because of its geographical position, bridging the Middle East and Europe.
Hosting the most Syrian refugees in the world, according to the registration records of the United Nations, Turkey has spent more than $8 billion of its own resources. There are currently 2.2 million refugees in Turkey.
According to the International Organization for Migration, more than one million refugees passed to Europe in 2015 alone, the majority taking risky sea voyages across the choppy Mediterranean waters on unsafe boats.
IOM says that 3,695 have drowned or gone missing in their attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea this year.