Refugee boat sinks off Turkey’s Aegean coast, 18 killed
MUĞLA – Anadolu Agency
AA photoEighteen people have drowned off the southwestern coast of Turkey when a vessel carrying refugees sank late on Dec. 18, according to the Turkish Coast Guard.
The wooden boat - packed with refugees, including Syrians and Iraqis - was seeking to reach the Greek island of Kos when it sank in Bodrum Bay.
Fourteen people were rescued, but 18 others, including children, were found dead in the sea, the Turkish Coast Guard said.
Kos and other Greek islands lie just a few kilometers from the Turkish coast, making them attractive destinations for refugees seeking to enter the EU.
Over the past year, thousands have made short but perilous journeys across the Aegean in a bid to reach Europe. Worsening weather conditions currently make the trip more dangerous than usual.
According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 781,000 migrants have arrived in Greece by sea since the start of the year, mostly from Turkey. There were 632 deaths in the Aegean up to Dec. 14.
According to the UN’s refugee agency, more than 950,000 people have reached Europe by sea this year.