30 missing and 4 dead as migrant boat sinks off Turkey coast

World

Up to four people have died and 30 are reportedly missing, after a migrant boat sank off the western coast of Turkey late on Tuesday, the Turkish interior ministry said on Wednesday. The boat sank off the coast of Izmir province, the ministry said in a statement

Search and rescue operations are underway to find the missing people.

Turkey is one of the main launch points for more than a million migrants taking the sea route to the European Union in 2015, many  of whom are fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

The movement of migrants greatly reduced after a 2016 deal between Ankara and the European Union, in which hundreds died while crossing to Greek islands a few miles off the Turkish shore.

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.

-IOL

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