Wednesday 18 October 2017

Another 17 refugees drown off Turkish coast

A Syrian refugee boy cries as he is carried by his parents moments after arriving in an overcrowded dinghy at a beach on the Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing a part of the Aegean Sea from the Turkish coast
A Syrian refugee boy cries as he is carried by his parents moments after arriving in an overcrowded dinghy at a beach on the Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing a part of the Aegean Sea from the Turkish coast

David Dolan

Seventeen refugees drowned when their boat sank yesterday off the Turkish coast while headed for the Greek island of Kos.

The boat was carrying 37 people, 20 of whom were rescued, when it sank in the Aegean Sea. The eight-metre boat had set off from the coastal village of Gumusluk.

The area is part of the larger Bodrum peninsula, a popular tourist destination where this summer the body of drowned toddler Aylan Kurdi washed up, sparking international outrage.

A record 300,000 or more Syrians and other migrants have arrived in Greece, mostly setting off from Turkey's Aegean coast, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

While Kos is just 4km from Bodrum at its closest, the journey is perilous, as migrants often cram into rubber dinghies captained by men with little or no seafaring experience.

The coastguard has rescued more than 53,000 migrants, but at least 274 have died in Turkish waters recently, according to Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus.

Irish Independent

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