Their boat sank near Akyarlar, west of the Mediterranean holiday resort of Bodrum, as 29 Syrians, including children, attempted to reach Greece, according to the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
A Coast Guard patrol found the floundering vessel and 21 migrants were pulled from the water. Divers rescued another three. All the survivors were taken to hospital.
Five bodies were later discovered.
The Bodrum coast is a popular location for migrants to try to reach Kos, just 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the Turkish coast, making it the shortest sea journey from Asia to EU territory.
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