Seven individuals died and 64 were saved when a boat carrying refugees and migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan sank on Thursday in eastern Turkey’s Lake Van, the governor’s workplace in Bitlis province said.
The boat sank after capsizing as it approached Adilcevaz, Bitlis, which is on the northern coasts of Lake Van, the office said in a statement. The accident took place at roughly 3am(00:00GMT).
The lake is near the border with Iran, from where migrants regularly cross into Turkey, heading west towards Europe.
It was not clear why the migrants were on the boat in Lake Van, which is entirely within Turkey’s borders.
5 individuals were found dead at the scene and 2 passed away in hospital, while the 64 individuals rescued have actually been taken to close-by medical facilities and shelters, the governor’s workplace said.
It said gendarmerie forces, emergency reaction groups and police divers were carrying out search operations.
This year, Turkey, which hosts the world’s biggest refugee population with 3.7 million Syrians, repeatedly stated it desires Syrian refugees to leave and go back to a “safe zone” in Syria’s northeast.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has actually warned of additional waves of refugees if the violence in Syria – where fatal battles continue to this day – do not stop.
It was unclear why the migrants were on a boat in Lake Van, which is entirely within Turkey’s borders [Sener Toktas/Anadolu Agency]
Al Jazeera and news firms