Boat that sank on Turkey’s Lake Van had up to 60 migrants onboard: minister
ISTANBUL (TURKEY) – A boat that sank on Lake Van in eastern Turkey is reported to have been carrying 55-60 migrants, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Wednesday, adding that bodies of six people had been found so far.
Soylu said authorities had detained 11 people with regard to the incident, which the provincial governor’s office said happened late on Saturday. Rescue operations have been on, Soylu said.
The lake is near the border with Iran, from where migrants regularly pass into Turkey, heading west toward Europe. The lake, completely within Turkey’s borders, is en route migrants attempting to reach western Turkey from Iran, Afghanistan and other countries.
Seven people died and 64 were rescued after a boat carrying migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan sank on Lake Van in December.
More than a million people reached Greece from Turkey in 2015-16, although the numbers later dipped sharply under a 2016 agreement between the EU and Turkey for Ankara. According to it, it was agreed upon to take migrants back in return for funds.
The beginning of this year saw tens of thousands of migrants trying to cross into Greece via land and sea borders. This came after Ankara said it would no longer stop them. Turkey, home to 3.6 million Syrians, the world’s largest refugee population, had said it would open the frontier because it was startled by the probability of another wave of refugees evading war in northwest Syria.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.