Migrants drown off Turkey


Eight people, including three women, died after a boat carrying 15 migrants sank off western Turkey, the interior ministry said.

The boat sank off Fethiye district in Mugla province, it said, adding the rest were missing and a search was underway.

Coast guard boats, a helicopter and an aircraft were used in the search and rescue operation as well as a diving unit, the ministry said.

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

Thirty-four migrants died at sea off Turkey last year and the country captured more than 60 000 irregular migrants in 2019, more than double the number in 2018, according to coast guard data.