A sudden tragedy stuck the Turkey Coast on Friday night.
Over 30 refugees drowned early Saturday off the western coast of Turkey when a boat packed with refugees capsized. 75 were rescued after the boat carrying refugees to Greece sank.
According to reports, the Turkish coast guard was continuing search-and-rescue efforts where the boat carrying at least 120 people sank off the coast of Ayvacik, a town across from the Greek island of Lesbos. Mehmet Unal Sahin, the mayor of Ayvacik, told CNNTurk news, “I am afraid the numbers will rise as divers continue the search. Local people woke up to the sound of screaming migrants and we have been carrying out rescue work since dawn. We have an 80-kilometer-long coast just across from Lesbos, which is very hard to keep under control.”
It’s been reported that Turkey is hosting 2.5 million Syrian refugees. In November it struck a deal with the EU pledging to help stem the flow of refugees to Europe in return for 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in financial aid.
Greece expects to have four of five “hot spot” centers for processing refugees operational in about two weeks, with pressure from the European Commission. “We are behind schedule on the installation of these hot spots. Four of the five will be operational from mid-February,” Greece’s Yiannis Mouzalas revealed.
The International Organization for Migration says 218 people have died this year while trying to cross by sea from Turkey to Greece. Our prayers are with them.