Migrant boat heading to Greece from Turkey sinks, 22 dead

  • Reuters, Ankara
  • Updated: Sep 15, 2015 21:35 IST
In Hungary, migrants sleep in front of a fence as they wait to enter the country, after the Hungarian police sealed the border with Serbia. (REUTERS)

At least 22 migrants drowned and 200 were rescued when a boat capsized in the Aegean Sea off the Turkish coast while they were trying to reach the Greek island of Kos on Tuesday, local media said.

The boat went down off the coast of the Datca peninsula, not far from the resort town of Bodrum, where the drowned body of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi washed up two weeks ago, in a tragic image that shocked people around the world.

Television footage showed a crowded Turkish coastguard ship carrying rescued people to the shore. No one was immediately available for comment at the coastguard.

Dogan news agency said the group was travelling to Kos in a 20-metre (66-foot) wooden boat. Turkey houses more than 2 million refugees and tens of thousands have taken boats from its coast on their way to Europe.

On Sunday, 34 people died, including 15 babies and children, when another wooden boat capsized off the Greek island of Farmakonisi.

In Europe's worst migration crisis since World War Two, the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, expects at least 850,000 people to head to the continent this year, many of them fleeing Syria's four-year civil war.

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