Six arrested over migrant boat capsizing off western Turkey
DHA photoSix suspects, including a Syrian national, have been arrested over illegal boat journeys for migrant trafficking, after a boat capsized off a western Turkish, killing 12 migrants, the state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
The suspects, identified only by the initials M.E.M., M.E, Y.A, H.Y, E.D. and T.T, were arrested on Oct. 18 after appearing in a court in Ayvacık, a coastal district in the northwestern province of Çanakkele. They are charged with “human trafficking within an illegal organization” and “causing mass death.”
The six had been detained on Oct. 17 by local gendarmerie forces, Doğan News Agency reported.
The detentions came one the same day as at least 12 migrants drowned after a boat heading to the Greek island of Lesbos sank in the Aegean Sea, with 25 others rescued.
The victims included a 7-month-old infant, four children, five women – two of whom were pregnant – and two men.
Çanakkale Governor Hamza Erkal said on Oct. 17 that the boat was carrying more than 48 migrants from Syria and Afghanistan.
Turkish coast guards conducted searches for at least nine other missing migrants on the same day, Erkal added.
Geographically located between war-torn Syria and Iraq in the southeast and the EU member states of Bulgaria and Greece in the northwest, Turkey has become a transition point for migrants looking to illegally cross into the EU in order to flee the violence in Iraq and Syria, as well as to find a higher standard of living.