Another migrant girl washes ashore in western Turkey amid ongoing crossing attempts
AYDIN – Doğan News Agency
Migrants and refugees travel on a dinghy to the Greek island of Chios from Cesme in the Turkish province of Izmir on November 3, 2015. AFP Photo
The dead body of another young girl has been found washed ashore in the western Turkish province of Aydın, amid continued attempts by migrants to cross into European countries from Turkey by sea.
The girl, so far unidentified, was found dead on Nov. 25 after reportedly washing up on the coast of a national park in Kuşadası, a popular resort district in Aydın.
The bloated body of the girl, wearing a sodden life vest, was found lying face-down on the coast, and was taken to the forensic institute in the Aegean province of İzmir for medical examination.
The state-run Anadolu Agency reported that the girl may have been around four years old and the daughter of a migrant family who attempted to cross over to the Greek island of Samos.
In Aydın’s Didim district on the same day, Turkish coast guards captured 39 migrants of Syrian origin at around 11 a.m., as they attempted to cross over to the Greek islands through the Aegean Sea.
The migrants are reported to have sailed from Didim’s Batıköy neighborhood with two human trafficking suspects, who were later detained over the incident.
Geographically located between war-torn Syria and Iraq in its southeast and the EU member states of Bulgaria and Greece in its west, Turkey has become a key transit point for foreign migrants looking to illegally cross into the EU in order to flee the violence in Iraq and Syria and also to find a higher standard of living.
The wave of migration across the Aegean, however, has often resulted in injuries and deaths amid the capsizing of migrant-carrying boats and abuse of migrants by human traffickers.
The number of migrants saved after failed attempts to cross via sea from Turkey into Europe has increased by over 500 percent in 2015 compared to last year.
In 2014, the number of migrants rescued by Turkey’s coast guard and local institutions was 14,961, in 574 separate incidents, according to Prime Ministry figures. So far this year, the number is 79,489 migrants in 2,133 incidents.
In addition, more than 200 smuggling gangs have been targeted in security operations launched by the authorities over the past two years.