Turkish gendarmes load the coffin of a drowned migrant into a van in Kocaeli, Turkey. Photo: AFP
ANKARA, Turkey – A fishing boat carrying migrants has sunk off the Turkey’s Black Sea coast, killing 21 people according to preliminary reports, many from Iraq.
The fishing boat carrying some 70 passengers set off from Turkey’s Kocaeli coast, bound for Romania. It sank 64 sea miles off the coast.
The boat ran into bad weather and rough water, AFP reported.
It is believed some Kurds from the Kurdistan Region are among the dead.
Anadolu Agency reported 21 people were killed. A pregnant woman lost her baby.
The public prosecutor in Kocaeli has launched an investigation into the incident.
As the route to Europe became increasingly difficult after Turkey shut down traffic to Europe in a deal with the EU in 2016, many migrants and refugees have turned to the Black Sea where a new route has opened up.
Over 800 migrants have been rescued in seven separate incidents between August 13 and September 9, according to coastguard figures published in Turkish media.