Turkey detains two suspects over latest migrant tragedy

Published March 7th, 2016 - 02:00 GMT
A woman looks on from inside a van after being detained by Turkish soldiers with other Syrians trying to reach the Greek island of Lesbos from Dikili, western Turkey, on March 5, 2016. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)
A woman looks on from inside a van after being detained by Turkish soldiers with other Syrians trying to reach the Greek island of Lesbos from Dikili, western Turkey, on March 5, 2016. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)

Turkish police have detained a Turkish boat owner and a suspected smuggler following the latest tragedy in the Aegean Sea, when a boat carrying migrants sank, leaving at least 25 dead, AFP reported.

The migrants and refugees who perished en route to EU member Greece included 10 children. The vessel sank one day before Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with EU leaders in Brussels to discuss solutions to the refugee crisis.

The boat owner, identified as K.C., and the human smuggler, Y.Y., were detained by police in Didim, in the Aydin region of western Turkey, according to Dogan news agency.

Police are still searching for three other suspects connected with the tragedy, including two Afghan nationals.

Rescue operations in the Aegean saved fifteen people after the boat sank, while rescue efforts were still underway to find two more missing.

Turkey is the main point of departure for the majority of refugees and migrants seeking to cross into Europe. More than one million reached the EU over the last year, and Turkey and Greece are under increasing pressure to halt the flow of migration.

According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), 125,819 people have crossed from Turkey to Greece so far this year, whiel 321 have died during the voyage.

EU President Donald Tusk has said a main priority in curbing the refugee crisis is "breaking the business model of smugglers," the mafia-style trafficking rings that have largely acted with impunity until now.


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