Tags: EU | Turkey | Migrants

5 Migrants Trying to Reach Greece Drown off Turkish Coast

5 Migrants Trying to Reach Greece Drown off Turkish Coast

Tuesday, 18 August 2015 04:40 AM

BODRUM, Turkey (AP) — At least five people drowned off the Turkish coast early Tuesday as they tried to reach the Greek islands, underscoring the deadly risks taken by migrants making even short crossings to Europe in overcrowded smugglers' boats.

Turkish coast guards unloaded five body bags at the harbor of western Turkey tourist town Bodrum as rescued migrants, one man clutching his head in his hands, sat on the wharf.

Medical staff carried a wailing young boy and a man to ambulances.

About 20 migrants also were rescued and taken to a harbor in the nearby town of Turgutreis.

Details of the identities and nationalities of the dead were not immediately available.

Ayberk Olcay of the Bodrum Sea Rescue Association, who was involved in the rescue operation, said a baby's body also was recovered and three more people, including a child, were rescued.

The numbers of migrants attempting perilous sea crossings to Europe continue to climb despite the risks.

Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said at the weekend that as of Saturday, 103,000 migrants had been rescued at sea and brought to Italy in operations coordinated by the Italian coast guard. Along with other migrants landing in Spain and Malta, that means more than 243,000 people have crossed so far this year, compared to 219,000 for all of 2014. Greece has reported 134,988 arrivals from Turkey this year.

The International Organization for Migration estimates that at least 2,300 people have died this year trying to cross to Europe.

It is unclear how many people may have died between Bodrum and the Greek island of Kos, which is only four kilometers (2.5 miles) from Turkey at its closest point, making it one of the shortest routes across the Aegean.

____

Associated Press Writer Suzan Fraser in Ankara contributed to this report.

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At least five people drowned off the Turkish coast early Tuesday as they tried to reach the Greek islands, underscoring the deadly risks taken by migrants making even short crossings to Europe in overcrowded smugglers' boats.Turkish coast guards unloaded five body bags at...
EU,Turkey,Migrants
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2015-40-18
Tuesday, 18 August 2015 04:40 AM
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