Migrant boat sinks off Turkey


Four people died when a migrant boat sank off the west coast of Turkey, the Turkish interior ministry said, adding 30 migrants were still missing.

The boat sank off the coast of Izmir province, the ministry said in a statement, adding search and rescue operations were underway to find missing people.

Turkey became a main launch point for more than a million migrants taking the sea route to the European Union in 2015, many fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

The flow of migrants was drastically reduced following a 2016 deal between Ankara and the European Union, after hundreds died crossing to Greek islands a few miles off the Turkish coast.

Mediterranean arrivals to the bloc, including refugees making the longer and more perilous crossing from North Africa to Italy, totalled 172,301 in 2017, down from 362,753 in 2016 and 1,015,078 in 2015, according to United Nations data.