Human smugglers set inflatable boat aflame and vanish, after migrants object to boat
MUĞLA – Doğan News Agency
CİHAN photoHuman smugglers illegally leading migrants in an attempt to get to Europe through Turkey set an inflatable boat on fire and fled the scene in the Aegean resort town of Bodrum, after the migrants objected to the organizers’ demand to put 50 people in one boat, just a day after a boat disaster on Sept. 2 that made international headlines with the photo of a dead 3-year-old boy lying on a Bodrum shore.
While the tragedy raised illegal migrants’ concerns about risking their lives for the possibility of better life conditions, a boat for a group of migrants dreaming to cross into Greece through the Turgutreis area of Bodrum was set on fire by human smuggler organizers. A dispute occurred after 50 migrants objected to boarding the small boat, claiming they paid $1,000 per person for two separate boats. The organizers then set the boat on fire and fled the scene.
The group of migrants, mostly consisting of women and children, ran from the flames and were then captured by the gendarmerie, which brought the group to Bodrum’s city center for testimonies.
One Syrian migrant, 35-year-old Sadi Karani who was accompanying two children, said they had demanded a second boat, as the group had initially agreed for this.
“We’ve heard [about] the deadly incidents thus we demanded a new boat. When they rejected, a fight erupted. They took the engine of the boat with them, set the boat aflame and ran away,” Karani said.
After the tragedy in which 12 illegal migrants drowned off the coast of Bodrum and left lifeless bodies of toddlers washing to shore on Sept. 2, the number of illegal transitions through Bodrum has fallen but not stopped.