Turkey detains four Syrians over smuggling charges linked to drowned toddler
As many as 2,000 people have drowned in the Mediterranean this year trying to escape conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa. (AFP/File)
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Four people, suspected of human trafficking resulting in the death of 12 people, have been taken into custody Thursday in Turkey’s south-western province of Mugla, security sources said.
Sources from the smuggling and organized crime police office said Thursday that four Syrian citizens had been apprehended for illegally carrying refugees from the Turkish coast to Greek islands.
The suspects were captured on the Gumbet coast, in Bodrum, after they boarded in a boat. Authorities said they were referred to court.
Twelve people, including eight children, drowned Wednesday after their boat en route to the Greek islands sank in the Aegean Sea.
The bodies of the victims, including children, hit the Turkish coast on Wednesday morning. The photos of the victims went viral on social media on Wednesday.
Bodies of the Syrian child Aylan (2) his brother Galip (3) and their mother Zahin Kurdi (27) were among the 12 victims identified by Turkish Authorities. Their bodies are awaited to be handed over to their father, who survived the tragedy, later on Thursday, according to the Anadolu Agency correspondent in Bodrum.
The Bodrum coast in the Turkish south-western Mugla province is a preferred location for migrants trying to reach Kos, as the route is among the shortest by sea from Asia to EU territory.
In the first five months of 2015, over 42,000 people arrived by sea to Greece, most of them refugees, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.