Ten migrants reported missing after boat capsizes on Aegean
BODRUM – Doğan News Agency
DHA photoTen Syrian migrants have been reported missing and five others have been rescued after an inflatable boat capsized off the Turkish resort town of Bodrum.
Turkish Coast Guards started both marine and aerial searches to find the missing migrants after rescuing five others, including a woman, thanks to a tip off from fishermen who saw a group of migrants off Turgutreis, a district neighboring Bodrum in the Aegean province of Muğla around 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 18.
Search and rescue efforts conducted by four rescue boats and a rescue plane were reported to be ongoing.
Turkey has stepped up efforts to enforce stricter border patrols near its northwestern borders to prevent illegal migrant crossings into European countries.
Fourteen human traffickers were detained on Nov. 17 in two separate police operations in the northwestern provinces bordering Greece both on land and sea.
Six human traffickers were detained in the northwestern province of Çanakkale after Çanakkale Gendarmerie Command forces raided multiple homes during an operation against human traffickers, who purportedly plan and organize migrant trafficking activities between Turkey and Greece.
Eight other human traffickers were detained in the northwestern province of Edirne in multiple raids conducted by local gendarmerie forces.
Some 27 inflatable boats, 24 boat engines, a 7.65-milimeter pistol with 25 of its shells, three hunting rifles, 12 vehicles of different types, two life boats and 22 mobile phones were seized in the gendarmerie raids.
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 and find a higher standard of living.
The wave of migration across the Aegean Sea, however, has often resulted in injuries and even deaths due to either the capsizing of migrant-carrying boats or abuse of migrants by human traffickers.