ANOTHER MIGRANT SHIP DOWN IN THE MEDITERRANEAN
At least 24 migrants are dead after a boat capsized in Turkish waters on Monday morning local time.
The boat, carrying over 40 migrants believed to be from Afghanistan or other Middle Eastern areas, appeared to be en route to Romania or Bulgaria through Istanbul’s Bosphorus strait. Capsizing at the mouth of the strait in the Black Sea, a number of people on board the boat are still missing.
The Turkish Coast Guard responded to the situation, saving at least seven people and pulling floating bodies from the sea.
This capsizing is yet another example of disaster in Mediterranean waters when illegal migrants travel to European Union countries via boat from North Africa and the Middle East. In September, as many as 700 people drowned in two separate incidents off the coasts of Malta and Libya.
Recent data released by International Organisation for Migration (IOM) show that since 2000 at least 40,000 have died while on migrant routes worldwide. That’s an average of eight deaths per day. From January to September this year, 4,077 deaths had been recorded by IOM, although the organisation believe numbers could be higher.
The Mediterranean recorded 3,072 deaths alone. The migrants usually travel to seek better lives in Europe and flee their home countries facing breakdown or chaos, most recently triggered by the Arab Spring and civil war in Syria and Libya.
Some circles see this influx of illegal migration as a major European issue, as seen by the United Kingdom’s decision to no longer support search-and-rescue operations for migrants drowning in such accidents in the Mediterranean. The government have said the rescue operations act as a pull factor for illegal migration.
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