Four dead after migrant boat sinks off Turkish coast

Three women and one child died aiming to reach the Greek island of Lesbos

Refugees and migrants arrive on a raft on the Greek island of Lesbos. REUTERS
Refugees and migrants arrive on a raft on the Greek island of Lesbos. REUTERS

Three women and a child died after a migrant boat sank in the Mediterranean Sea, Turkish authorities said on Tuesday.

Eleven other migrants were saved by helicopter in a mission launched off the Turkish town of Ayvacik.

Turkish owned DHA News Agency said the boat carried people from Iran and Afghanistan, all attempting to head to the Greek island of Lesbos.

It is believed that the three women and the child that died were from Afghanistan.

Four years on from the so-called refugee crisis, many people continue the perilous journey overseas.

An open letter signed by 50 multinational NGO’s, including Oxfam, accused EU member states of being “complicit” for the deaths of more than 5,300 people crossing Libya for Italy.

An EU-backed deal between Libya and Italy two years ago saw the exchange of Italian funding and support for Libya’s coastguards in return for Libya preventing people from crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

The open letter also blames some EU countries for deliberately preventing rescue missions to take place.

Overall, the number of detected illegal border crossings into the European Union (EU) in 2018 is at its lowest level since 2013 after a significant drop for the third year in a row.

According to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, migrants taking the route via Turkey into the Aegean and Ionian Sea fell by 37 percent, the lowest number of migrants found to be crossing by authorities since 2012.

Women account for 18 percent of the migrant population crossing from North Africa and Asia into the EU, while one in five claimed to be under the age of 18.

Published: March 26, 2019 03:02 PM


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