6 illegal immigrants rescued, 1 missing off western Turkey

The Turkish coast guard rescued six illegal immigrants off Turkey’s Aegean coast, but one person went missing, local media reported.

An inflatable boat carrying seven illegal immigrants sank near the Bodrum district in the southwestern province of Mugla, said the NTV broadcaster.

The rescue team was continuing to search the missing person in the sea, NTV noted, without identifying the nationalities of the migrants and their intended destination.

The coast guard had captured a total of 273 illegal immigrants who tried to sneak into Greek islands from the Aegean coast in the last three days, the force announced the previous day.

The Aegean Sea was once the main route for migrants trying to reach Europe via Turkey. A deal signed between Turkey and the European Union in March 2016 has curbed the flow of illegal immigration.

Since this year, a total of 51,488 migrants have attempted to reach Greece via Turkey, up from 25,398 over the same period in 2018, according to the latest figures released by the Turkish coast guard.