Turkish coastguards stop ship carrying illegal immigrants

Five people were taken into custody after a vessel carrying illegal Syrian immigrants was stopped in the Dardanelles Strait.

Turkish coastguards stop ship carrying illegal immigrants

World Bulletin / News Desk

Five people were taken into custody after Turkish coastguards stopped a cargo ship carrying more than 300 illegal immigrants in the Dardanelles Strait in northwestern Turkey Thursday, police officials said.

According to police, five people, including two crew members and three foreign smugglers were taken into custody after the Turkish coast guards' operation. 

The cargo ship was carrying 337 illegal immigrants, mostly Syrian, including 85 children and 67 women, police officials said. 

Canakkkale governor Ahmet Cinar stated Thursday night that were no casualties or injuries on the ship. 

Authorities faced some challenges in bringing the ship to a halt. “Despite all the warnings from Turkish officials, the ship wouldn't stop,” Cinar recalled.

The Turkish coast guards had to resort to force to halt the ship.

“Our goal was to prevent harming people on board," the governor said.

However, when the vessel repeatedly failed to yield to authorities’ warnings, the coast guards opened fire at the ship’s machinery. 

"Eventually, the ship stopped completely due to the locked steering," he said.

The illegal immigrants were taken to the port of Gallipoli, where they underwent a medical examination. They will also be questioned by police. 

The Dardanelles Strait was closed to transit during the operation.

Nearly 1,900 migrants have lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea in 2014 trying to cross into Europe, according to the UN Refugee agency and the International Organization for Migration.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Mart 2015, 12:08