Four Turks sentenced to 30 years in jail for migrant deaths
ÇANAKKALE – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoFour Turkish nationals have been sentenced to 30 years each in prison for the deaths of 24 migrants when a boat sank in July 2013 in the Aegean Sea.
A court in the northwestern province of Çanakkale sentenced the boat’s owner, Veysel Bozbaş, to seven years and six months in jail for human trafficking, along with Captain Ramazan Dova and his two assistants.
The guilty men were also given 22 years and six months on charges of causing multiple deaths with conscious negligence.
The vessel sank 10 miles off the coast of Tavaklı village, Çanakkale, while in international waters. Twenty-four people died in the incident, while coast guards rescued 12 others.
Turkey captures more migrants
Meanwhile, four people have been arrested in the western province of İzmir for helping migrants travel to Europe via Turkey.
Police in İzmir’s touristic town of Çeşme started an operation in the Domuzçukuru neighborhood, stopping a minibus near the Çeşme Port and detaining two suspects, identified only as A.A. and E.A., for helping migrants to cross to Europe illegally.
The suspects said they had left the migrants at a construction site in Domuzçukuru, and the police later found 37 Syrians, including four women and one baby, at the site. Two people, identified by the initials E.Y. and A.K., were detained at the scene, while the police also seized four life jackets.
A local court ruled for the arrest of the four suspects for “mediating human trafficking in an organized way.”
The Mediterranean has witnessed many tragic deaths of migrants in recent months, as more than 1,750 people have died in 2015, 30 times the amount for the same period in 2014, according to the International Organization for Migration.
Turkish security forces have also increased their operations in routes widely used by migrants to reach Europe. The country currently hosts up to 2 million Syrians fleeing the conflict in their country.
On April 30, Turkish security forces caught 104 migrants with Tunisian, Pakistani, Syrian, Palestinian and Myanma nationalities in several districts of the northwestern province of Edirne.
In Çanakkale, 42 Syrians and one Iraqi migrant were captured by gendarmerie forces in a truck. A Turkish man driving the truck and a person sitting next to the driver were also detained.
Meanwhile, 33 migrants, with Syrian and Afghan nationalities, called the gendarmerie for help in the Bodrum district of Muğla province, claiming that they had been abandoned in a bay for four days by human traffickers.
The migrants told the gendarmerie forces that they had paid $2,000 to get on a boat heading to the Greek island of Kos, and called for help after they ran out of food. The security forces have opened an investigation to find the human traffickers.