Turkey detains two over latest migrant tragedy

asylum seekers
SAFETY. A Syrian child carries a lifebelt before boarding a dinghy to cross the Aegean Sea to the Greek island of Lesbos from the Ayvacik coast in Canakkale on February 27, 2016 as the number of asylum-seekers entering Greece from Turkey continues unabated Photo by Bulent Kilic / AFP
The migrants who died include 10 children, died on Sunday when the boat carrying them on a bid to reach EU member Greece from Turkey sank in the Aegean in the latest deadly disaster on the route

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Mar. 7, 2016) — Turkish authorities have detained a Turkish boat owner and a suspected people smuggler over the latest sinking of a vessel carrying migrants in the Aegean Sea that left at least 25 dead, reports said on Monday.

The migrants, who included 10 children, died on Sunday when the boat carrying them on a bid to reach EU member Greece from Turkey sank in the Aegean in the latest deadly disaster on the route.

The tragedy happened a day before Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held talks in Brussels Monday with EU leaders to find a comprehensive solution to the migrant crisis.

The owner of the boat, named as K.C., and the suspected people smuggler, Y.Y. were detained by police in the Didim district of the Aydin region of western Turkey, the Dogan news agency reported.

Police are searching for three other suspects in connection with the tragedy including two Afghans, it added.

Fifteen people were saved after the sinking of the boat while rescue efforts were still underway to find two more missing, the report said.

Turkey is the main launch pad for most of the more than one million refugees and migrants who have crossed into Europe since early 2015, and is under pressure to curb the huge flow.

According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), 125,819 people crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece so far this year to March 3 while 321 died on the way.

Visiting Ankara last week ahead of the EU summit, EU President Donald Tusk said a priority was to “break the business model of smugglers” who analysts say have acted with near impunity until now.


  by Agence France-Presse | Rappler.com