Seven Afghan migrants die as boat sinks off western Turkey
ÇANAKKALE – Anadolu Agency
The 6-meter-long boat, which was using an illegal route to reach the Greek island of Lesbos, sank off Babakale village in Ayvacık district, said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
In total, there were 20 people aboard the ill-fated boat. Thirteen others, including an Iranian-origin suspected migrant smuggler, were rescued and brought to Babakale port, the Coast Guard Command said in a statement.
The suspected smuggler was later detained.
Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the civil war in Syria.
Among migrants detained in 2017 in Turkey, the majority were from Pakistan, around 15,000, followed by Afghans at around 12,000. Syrians totaled about 10,000.
There has been a 60 percent increase in migrant flow since 2016. The number was 31,000 in 2016.