Refugees drown off Turkey coast | News | DW | 06.03.2016
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Refugees drown off Turkey coast

Over a dozen migrants have drowned off the coast of Turkey while trying to cross the Aegean Sea to get to Greece. A number of refugees have been rescued by Turkish coastguards.

At least 25 migrants died after their boat, traveling from Turkey to Greece, capsized in the Aegean Sea on Sunday, the Turkish coastguard said. The dead included three children, the private Dogan news agency reported.

The Turkish coastguard rescued 15 people off the Aegean Sea resort of Didim. Rescuers were using three boats and a helicopter to look for more survivors, Turkey's official Anadolu news agency reported.

Officials said they did not know the nationality of the migrants as yet.

News of the accident comes a day before the European Union and Turkey are to meet to discuss the refugee crisis. Turkey is a crucial crossing point for migrants trying to get to Europe from war-torn countries in the Middle East.

Nearly all of them travel in small wooden or inflatable rubber boats to get to Greece and then travel further on to Western Europe. Last week, several Balkan countries and Austria closed their borders, causing tens of thousands of refugees to become stranded in Idomeni, at Greece's border with Macedonia.

More than one million refugees have crossed over to Europe since early 2015, with Germany taking in many of them.

mg/jlw (AFP, AP)

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