Turkey: Migrant boat sinks off Çanakkale, killing at least 21 people


A rubber dinghy carrying migrants sank off Türkiye’s northern Aegean coast on March 15, killing at least 21 people, officials have said.

Turkish Coast Guard personnel rescued two migrants from the sea off the town of Eceabat in Çanakkale province, while two others were able to reach the shore by themselves, Governor İlhami Aktaş said.

He said it was unclear how many people were on the boat when it sank and that the Coast Guard continued to search the area.

Aktaş informed that five of the dead were infants and children.

The migrants’ nationalities were not immediately known.

Ten Coast Guard boats and two helicopters were involved in the search and rescue mission. Several ambulances were on standby at a nearby port.

Türkiye’s southern and western coasts have been a major route for irregular migrants trying to cross to Europe, especially since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

Security forces and Coast Guard units rescued approximately 24,000 migrants in Turkish seas last year.

Meanwhile, 20 lost their lives on perilous routes, the Transport and Infrastructure Ministry announced last month.__Daily Hurriyet