By Suleyman Elcin
ANKARA (AA) – Turkish coast guard on Friday saved over a dozen of irregular migrants illegally attempting to cross into Europe through the Aegean Sea.
According to the local coast guards, the rubber boat carrying a total of 14 irregular migrants sank off the coast of southwestern Mugla province.
Four security boats arrived at the scene and saved the irregular migrants before they went under the waves.
The coastal security units launched a search and rescue operation looking for a baby, claimed as missing on board as the boat sank.
Due to its geographical location connecting Asia with Europe, Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe.
This illegal migration trend gained more momentum with the unrest in the Middle East, especially since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
Some 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry.
*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas