The boat was sailing to Italy before it ran out of fuel and sank in severe weather conditions near Kas.

A military official checks the radar after it was reported that a boat sank southwest of Antalya's Kas district on July 23, 2021.
A military official checks the radar after it was reported that a boat sank southwest of Antalya's Kas district on July 23, 2021. (AA)

A migrant boat carrying 45 people sank off southwest Turkey, prompting the coast guard to launch a search and rescue mission.

The Turkish Defence Ministry on Friday said the coastguard was searching for the missing boat "after receiving a tip-off" that it sank on Thursday some 260 km off the coast of the holiday resort town of Kas.

There was no immediate information on the nationalities of the migrants.

Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

Many rely on smugglers and risk their lives through perilous journeys in overcrowded boats.

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Rescue operation continue

The boat went down at 1800GMT on Thursday in the search and rescue area of Turkey due to severe weather conditions, the Transport and Infrastructure Ministry said in a statement.

Thirty-seven refugees were rescued, while eight remain missing.

Search and rescue efforts continue in the region with two frigates and maritime patrol aircraft belonging to the Turkish Naval Forces Command, Turkey's National Defense Ministry said in a statement.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies