AKIPRESS.COM - Four people died after a migrant boat sank off the western coast of Turkey late on Tuesday, the Turkish interior ministry said on Wednesday, adding that 30 others were still missing, Reuters reports.
The boat sank off the coast of Izmir province, the ministry said in a statement, adding that search and rescue operations were underway to find the missing people.
Turkey became one of the main launch points for more than a million migrants taking the sea route to the European Union in 2015, many fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.
The flow of migrants was drastically reduced after a 2016 deal between Ankara and the European Union, after hundreds died crossing to Greek islands a few miles off the Turkish shore.
Mediterranean arrivals to the bloc, including refugees making the longer and more perilous crossing from north Africa to Italy, totaled 172,301 in 2017, down from 362,753 in 2016 and 1,015,078 in 2015, according to United Nations data.