Five dies, three missing as boat carrying immigrants sinks off Turkish coast

MUGLA: Five people were killed and three went missing after a boat carrying 16 illegal immigrants en route to a Greek island sank off the Aegean coast of Bodrum on Tuesday.

The incident took place in the morning. Units from the Coast Guard Command arrived at the scene over a tip-off by a group of fishermen. A helicopter also assisted rescue efforts. Eight immigrants were saved by the security forces while five were found dead.

Injured were taken to the nearby hospitals for treatment. Coast guards units are still looking for three immigrants who went missing in the incident.

As a country lying on the route to European countries, Turkey has become a center of human smuggling, particularly since the 1990s. Since the costs of arranging illegal passage to European countries via Turkey are lower than other routes, human smugglers see Turkey as an ideal country. The routes that take illegal migrants from the Middle East and Asia to Europe via the northern Black Sea or the Mediterranean are much more expensive and risky.