More than 45 refugees drowned crossing the Aegean sea

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700 drowned in 2015

More than 45 refugees drowned crossing the Aegean sea

Turkish Coast Guard rescue refugees after their boats capsized Getty Images

On January 22, it is reported that at least 45 migrants drowned after two overcrowded boats which were traveling from Turkey sunk off the coast of Greece.

The first boat struck rocks near the Greek island of Farmakonisi, while the second overturned near Kalolimnos. Many of those killed were children. The bodies of 34 people, including 11 children, were found near the small Greek island of Kalolimnos. The western media reported that another eight bodies, including six children and two women, have been found dead after another boat carrying 49 people sank near the island of Farmakonisi

According to the Greek Coastguard, more than 70 people were rescued from the sunken vessels and they had been searching for more survivors since it was unknown exactly how many people were on board.

Yesterday, after a joint cabinet meeting in Berlin, the German and Turkish leaders reaffirmed their commitment to tackling the crisis. German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to ensure Turkey will receive more than €3bn (£2.1bn; $3.3bn) as promised by the EU in return for strengthening its border controls.

“Today, once again, we heard of dreadful numbers of dead, including children, in the Aegean.” the German Chancellor said to the joint news conference

“We cannot let that happen, and let illegal traffickers and people smugglers be in charge between Turkey and Greece, continuing to put people in danger and profiteering.” she further added

Turkey and Greece have become the main gateway for people fleeing war and poverty trying to reach the European Union. Last year more than 800,000 people entered Greece mostly using very risky boats to reach Greek islands from the nearby Turkish coast. From the beginning of the year 2016, more than100 migrants died while they tried to cross the Aegean sea, at least 700 refugees died making the same crossing last year.

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