Seven killed after migrant boat sinks off southwestern Turkey
MUĞLAAt least seven migrants were killed when a boat capsized and sank off Turkey’s southwestern province of Muğla Feb. 7.
There were around 15 people on board when the boat sank after its engine collapsed off the Hisarönü port city near the Marmaris district, Muğla Governor Amir Çiçek said, adding that six people were also rescued.
Two people were still missing, while operations by coast guard vessels were continuing to look for them, the governor added.
Three of the six surviving migrants, who are Iraqi and Iranian citizens, were taken to the Port Authority to identify the captain of the boat by looking at around 5,000 photos submitted to the system of the directorate.
The governor said the refugees were trying to get to Greek island of Kos, about two miles (3.2 kilometers) off the coast of Turkey, when tragedy struck.
Turkey, which already hosts 1.7 million Syrian refugees from the civil war, has become a key transit point for migrants seeking a better life in Europe.
Many pay human-smugglers thousands of dollars to travel towards EU states in small boats, but this practice has been fraught with danger.
Thirty seven migrants, believed mainly to be of Afghan origin, lost their lives in November when their overloaded boat sank in the Black Sea off Istanbul.
However, in recent months there has also been a new trend for human-smugglers to use large cargo ships.