Ankara – The bodies of minimum 34 migrants including at least 7 children (two girls and five boys) were found at two spots along Turkey’s Aegean Sea coast on Tuesday after the two boats carrying them to Greek island of Lesbos capsized in the stormy weather. Twelve others were rescued. The emigrant movement chiefly fleeing Syrian civil war seeking asylum in Europe has continued in spite of harsher and colder winter weather. Roughly one million migrants are believed to have crossed or attempted to cross the Aegean Sea in 2015, this number is about five times more than the figures from 2014.
Turkish coast guard briefed media that twenty-four corpses were found on the shoreline of Avvalik district and a local gendarmerie official told ten others were discovered in the nearby district of Dikli. The governor of Avvalik announced that “This is a crime against humanity. It is murder to send people out to sea like this.” One eyewitness told,“We heard a boat sank and hit the rocks. I guess these people died when they were trying to swim from the rocks. We came here to help as citizens.” A corpse in an orange life jacket in the grey water’s edge in Avvalik splashed by waves was shown in the Reuters TV footage.
Not put off by the harsh cold and rough, irregular winter seas, migrants are persisting to risk the voyage to Greece in the hopefulness of a brighter future. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) announced that 3,771 immigrants have perished while attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe last year as against 3279 documented immigrant deaths in 2014.
The photographs of the young drowning victims are similar to the mortality of Alan Kurdi, the 3 year old Syrian migrant whose body was also washed up to the beach of a Turkish resort in September 2015, although the images of the 3-year-old baby provoked global shock and anger at the lack of resources and assistance for the immigrants taking up the treacherous voyage, not much has changed even after his tragic death and thus the Turkish beaches were witnessing the identical scenes.