News / Europe

    37 Migrants Die as Boat Sinks Off Turkey

    Turkish paramilitary police officers stand near a dead body of a migrant on the beach near the Aegean town of Ayvacik, Canakkale, Turkey, Jan. 30, 2016.
    Turkish paramilitary police officers stand near a dead body of a migrant on the beach near the Aegean town of Ayvacik, Canakkale, Turkey, Jan. 30, 2016.
    VOA News

    At least 37 migrants, including several children, died Saturday when the boat meant to take them to the Greek island of Lesbos sank off Turkey's western coast.

    The death toll rose late Saturday after search crews found more bodies trapped inside the 17-meter craft.  Rescuers were able to pick up 75 survivors.

    The Turkish news agency Dogan said the migrants included people from Syria, Afghanistan and Myanmar.

    Suspect smuggler arrested

    Police arrested a Turkish man suspected of being the smuggler who organized Saturday's disastrous sea crossing.

    He told Reuters news agency that he was on the boat but denied any wrongdoing.

    "I didn't do it. I swear I didn't do it. I had six relatives on that boat," he said. "I had six relatives and I don't even know whether they are dead or alive. I was also on that boat." he said.  "I swear I didn't do anything. I came here to go Germany."

    Alarming situation

    The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that deaths of refugees and migrants crossing the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece were "increasing at an alarming rate."

    Despite the cold weather this month, more than 20 times the amount of people are arriving in Greece than in January of 2015, a year in which more than a million people made the dangerous journey to Europe seek asylum, Jan. 19, 2016, Lesbos, Greece. (VOA/Hamada Elrasam)
    Despite the cold weather this month, more than 20 times the amount of people are arriving in Greece than in January of 2015, a year in which more than a million people made the dangerous journey to Europe seek asylum, Jan. 19, 2016, Lesbos, Greece. (VOA/Hamada Elrasam)

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Before Saturday's tragedy, according to IOM estimates, 218 people died this year on that eastern Mediterranean route and 26 others died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea on the traditionally more deadly route between Libya and Italy.

    The winter cold and rough water conditions have not stopped the human wave of migrants seeking refuge in Europe.

    Turkey struck a deal with the European Union last November to slow the flow of migrants in return for more than $3 billion in financial assistance.

    Many of the migrants, looking for a better life, are escaping war and poverty in Middle Eastern and African countries.

     

    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    January 30, 2016 2:21 PM
    I recall that when Israel was created the Arabs said they would throw all of the Jews into the sea and destroy Israel. How ironic that it is they who seem to be being thrown into the sea and they who are being destroyed, not by Israel but by each other. They are suffering the very fate they wished on someone else. For this reason I find it impossible to have any sympathy for them. I'll bet if you asked them, they'd still like to see Israel destroyed and all the Jews there killed. Why should I care about them? I can't think of any reason so I don't, not any longer.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora