Local residents of Turkey’s western Izmir province on Wednesday found seven refugees dead in Seferihisar and Menderes districts.
The residents called Turkish gendarmerie to the scene and it has been confirmed that the seven people had drowned.
Turkish security forces have launched an investigation into the incident saying it is believed that the refugees were trying to reach nearby Greek islands but drowned during the attempt.
Turkey’s five Aegean provinces – Canakkale, Balikesir, Izmir, Mugla and Aydin – are prime spots for refugees leaving for the EU, with several Greek islands lying within sight of the Turkish coast.
Over the past year, hundreds of thousands of people have made the short-but-perilous journey across the Aegean in a bid to reach northern and western Europe in search of a better life.
An estimated 805 died at sea in the Aegean in 2015, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). More than 847,000 arrived in Greece by sea over the year.
Worsening weather conditions in winter have made the trip even more dangerous.
According to the IOM, more than a million refugees arrived in Europe by sea last year.