The Turkish coast guard on Thursday rescued 17 illegal immigrants on Turkey’s Aegean coast, the coast guard announced on its website.
The migrants were found stranded at a remote location on the land of the Bozburun Peninsula in Turkey’s southwestern province of Mugla, the coast guard said. The coast guard acted upon a call for help from the refugees, the statement noted, without revealing further details. On Monday, the Turkish force rescued 36 migrants off Turkey’s Aegean coast near the western province of Balikesir, but four others were reported missing.
Earlier in the day, the state-run Anadolu agency reported that the body of one of the missing refugees was found in the Aegean Sea. The authorities have been trying to identify the body, Anadolu said, adding rescue operation is continuing to find three others. Since the start of this year, a total of 11,744 migrants attempted to reach Greece via Turkey’s seas, slightly down from 13,247 over the same period in 2019, according to the latest figures released by the Turkish coast guard.
The Aegean Sea was once the main route for migrants trying to reach Europe via Turkey. A deal was signed between Turkey and the European Union in March 2016 to curb the flow of illegal immigration. Hosting more than 3.7 million Syrian refugees in its territory, Turkey has been urging European countries to shoulder more responsibility.