Turkey rescues over 40 undocumented migrants in Aegean

Among rescued people are 13 Afghans, 8 Syrians, 6 Sierra Leoneans, 6 Angolans, 3 Eritreans, 2 Malians

Turkey rescues over 40 undocumented migrants in Aegean

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Turkish Coast Guard on Thursday rescued 41 undocumented migrants when an inflatable boat carrying them was at risk of drowning in the Aegean Sea near Foca district of Izmir.

In a statement, the Turkish Coast Guard said the migrants included women and children, who were trying to reach Greek Islands using an illegal route.

A coast guard helicopter was also used to help a migrant who had fallen into the sea.

The others were transferred to safety in boats, the statement said.

Among the rescued people were 13 Afghans, eight Syrians, six Sierra Leoneans, six Angolans, three Eritreans, two Malians, an Iraqi, a Somali and a Comorian.

Turkey has been a main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the civil war in Syria.

In recent years, hundreds of thousands of people have made the short but perilous journey across the Aegean to reach northern and western Europe.

Many have died at sea as a number of boats carrying refugees sank. The Turkish Coast Guard has rescued thousands.

In March 2016, Turkey and the EU signed a deal which aimed to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of some 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Since then, the number of refugees held while trying to cross the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece has fallen by 85 percent, according to the Turkish Coast Guard.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Ocak 2018, 14:14