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Interior Ministry: Eight migrants drowned off the coast of western Turkey

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Eight people, including three women, were killed after a boat carrying 15 migrants sank off Turkey’s western coast, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

It added that the boat sank on Thursday off the coast of Fethiye in Mugla province and that the rest of the passengers were missing.

The ministry said coastguard boats, a helicopter and an aircraft were involved in search and rescue operations as well as a diving unit.

In 2015, Turkey became one of the main staging points for more than a million migrants on the sea route to the territory of the European Union, many of whom are fleeing conflicts and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

Coast Guard data indicate that 34 migrants died at sea off the Turkish coast last year, and Turkey detained more than 60,000 illegal immigrants in 2019, more than twice the number in 2018.

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