Five migrants drown off Turkish coast

No fewer than five migrants, including a toddler, drowned when their boat capsized off Turkey’s Aegean coast, Turkish media reported yesterday.

The migrants aboard the boat included Afghan and Iranian nationals.

It said that they were trying to reach the Greek island of Lesbos.

The report said that the boat, which departed from Ayvacik in Turkey’s western province of Canakkale, sank 500 meters from the Turkish coast due to bad weather.

Preliminary reports said that the Turkish coast guard rescued nine migrants but two more remained missing.

The mishap came one day after the Turkish and Greek prime ministers voiced their determination to prevent illegal traffickers and migration in the Aegean Sea.

Earlier this week, the EU and Turkey held a special summit in Brussels, where Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu asked for three billion euros (3.3 billion dollars) in fresh aid.

It noted that it would be in return for Turkey’s help in stemming the flow of refugees into Europe and accepting those who went to Europe back to Turkey.

However, over 80,000 refugees were rescued by Turkish coast guards in 2015 alone, while nearly 4,000 died on their way to Greek islands via Turkey.

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