Sunken migrant boat found in eastern Turkey
VAN- Anadolu Agency
A migrant boat that sank last month in a lake in eastern Turkey has been found, the local governorship said on July 8.
“The boat was found at a depth of 106.5 meters [349.4 feet] off Çarpanak Island” in Lake Van, the Van Governorship said in a statement.
The boat and the bodies there will be recovered, the statement added.
Lake Van, near Turkey’s border with Iran, spans some 3,755 square kilometers (1,450 square miles).
The boat is believed to have been carrying up to 60 migrants when it sank, and six bodies had been recovered so far, according to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu.
He said 11 suspects had been detained on human smuggling charges.
Soylu said authorities immediately launched rescue operations after they learned of the incident on June 28.
Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the number of irregular migrants arriving in Turkey has fallen.
However, more than 21,000 migrants have reached Van so far this year, Soylu said.
Of them, 16,000 were denied entry but 4,500 managed to enter illegally, he said.
Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants aiming to cross to Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.