Six migrants found after freezing to death in eastern Turkey
The bodies of six people thought to be unregistered migrants have been found in Turkey’s eastern Van province’s Başkale district, just near the Iran border, Anadolu Agency reported on May 3.
The incident came to light when local shepherds found the body of a man in the rural Gelenler neighborhood of Başkale district and immediately informed the gendarmerie about the situation.
Gendarmerie forces came across five more male bodies in different parts of the Sultançayır streambed as they were investigating the area.
The initial enquiry revealed that all males were migrants who froze to death in the winter while trying to cross the Iranian-Turkish border and their bodies were exposed after the snow melted.
After prosecutors started the legal procedures for the incident, the bodies were sent to the Van Institute of Forensic Medicine for further examination.
Turkey has been the main route for irregular migrants trying to cross into Europe, especially since 2011 when the Syrian civil war began.
Some 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry.
At least 559 irregular migrants were held in the northwestern province Edirne province on March 2, according to security sources.
Gendarmerie forces and border troops launched an operation in İpsala, Meriç, Keşan and Uzunkopru districts of the province which borders both Greece and Bulgaria.
The migrants, including Palestinian, Syrian, Iraqi, Moroccan, Iranian, Somali, Afghan, Algerian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals, were attempting to cross into Europe via an illegal route.
All of the migrants were later referred to the provincial migration directorate.