22 migrants including seven children dead in Aegean Sea: Turkey

The search and rescue operation was backed by a aeroplane, two helicopters, a drone and 18 boats (Demiroren Information AAgency)

Twenty-two migrants together with seven youngsters have drowned after a ship capsized off the Turkish coast, native officers mentioned on Friday.

Two folks have been rescued by the Turkish coastguard and one other two managed to make it out of the water on their very own, officers mentioned. The victims’ nationalities weren’t but recognized.

The boat capsized off Turkey’s largest island, known as Gokceada or Imbros, which is situated within the Aegean Sea off the coast of the northwestern province of Canakkale, close to Greece’s Lemnos island.

“The Turkish coastguard discovered the our bodies of twenty-two folks together with seven youngsters,” the native governor’s workplace mentioned in a press release.

The search and rescue operation was backed by one airplane, two helicopters, a drone, 18 boats and 502 personnel, it added.

Turkey is internet hosting practically 4 million refugees, largely Syrians.

Many migrants attempt to attain the Greek islands from Turkey’s western coasts hoping to ultimately attain affluent European Union nations, with many dying within the perilous sea crossing.

Officers mentioned the boat started sinking in a single day and on Friday many ambulances have been standing by on the port of Kabatepe close to Gokceada.

There was a rise in migrant crossing makes an attempt within the waters between Turkey and Greece in current weeks.

The Turkish coastguard indicated that it had rescued or intercepted a number of hundred migrants, together with youngsters, making an attempt to cross to Greece because the begin of the week.

– Extra arrivals –

The EU border company Frontex mentioned this week that the variety of irregular border crossings into the bloc within the first two months of this yr reached 31,200 — much like the extent from a yr in the past, in line with preliminary calculations.

Within the japanese Mediterranean, the second most lively migratory route after the Western African route, the variety of detections greater than doubled to 9,150 within the first two months of the yr, it mentioned.

The Mediterranean Sea has for a number of years been the centre of migrant flows from Africa and the Center East to Europe.

The inflow peaked in 2015 as migrants, many fleeing the Mideast upheaval attributable to Syrian civil struggle, sought refuge in Europe.

Turkey struck a cope with the European Union in 2016 to curb the variety of arrivals to the EU in return for monetary help and different incentives.

The problem of unlawful migrants is a thorn in relations between NATO members Turkey and Greece, that are already embroiled in long-standing disputes from exploratory drilling rights within the japanese Mediterranean to the divided island of Cyprus and rival claims over the Aegean Sea.

Greece additionally often accuses Turkey of waving by means of migrants from throughout their joint border and at sea.

Ankara in flip accuses Athens of unlawful pushbacks of migrant boats.

Turkey and Greece agreed when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Athens in December to open a brand new web page of their relations and handle their issues together with irregular migration by means of dialogue and mutual goodwill.

The problem of migrants is prone to determine extremely in talks when Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visits Ankara in Might.

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