Seven migrant children found dead on Turkey’s western coast
İZMİR – Doğan News Agency
AA photoThe dead body of a five-year-old migrant girl has washed up on a beach in the Aegean province of İzmir, the latest of what now appears to be a series of migrant children deaths, while six other migrants were also found dead after an inflatable boat capsized off İzmir’s Çeşme district.
The body of Sajida Ali, a 5-year-old migrant girl, washed up on the Pırlanta Beach in Çeşme on Dec. 7, just a few months after the images of the lifeless body of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi, who washed ashore in the Turkish resort town of Bodrum in early September, sent shockwaves throughout the world.
Ali’s body was taken to the İzmir Forensic Institute for medical examination after local gendarmerie forces stated the girl purportedly drowned in a failed attempt to cross into Greek islands with his family.
In a separate incident, six migrants drowned in the Aegean Sea after an inflatable migrant boat capsized off Çeşme early Dec. 8.
Turkish Coast Guard Command forces rescued eight other migrants and the bodies of the six were taken to the İzmir Forensic Institute.
Geographically located between war-torn Syria and Iraq in the southeast and the European Union member states of Bulgaria and Greece in the northwest, Turkey has come to be a transition point for foreign migrants looking to illegally cross into the EU in an endeavor to flee the violence in Iraq and Syria, as well as have a higher standard of living.
The wave of migration across the Aegean Sea, however, has sometimes resulted in injuries and even deaths due to either the capsizing of migrant-carrying boats or abuse of migrants by human traffickers.
The number of migrants saved after making failed attempts to cross via the 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 last two years.
Click below for video of the Turkish Coast Guard rescuing migrants from a capsized dinghy