22 asylum seekers drown off Turkish coast, 211 rescued
Lifejackets hang on a tree on a beach where refugees and migrants arrived on dinghies, with the coasts of Turkey seen in the background, on the Greek island of Lesbos, September 14, 2015. Of the record total of 432,761 refugees and migrants making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year, an estimated 309,000 people had arrived by sea in Greece, the International Organization for Migration (IMO) said on Friday. About half of those crossing the Mediterranean are Syrians fleeing civil war, according to the United Nations refugee agency. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

CAIRO: The bodies of 22 asylum seekers, including 11 women and four children, were found drowned off a Turkish coast Tuesday; 211 were rescued after their boat sank on its way to the Greek Island of Kos, Dogan news agency reported.

The survivors are “exhausted,” and divers did not find any other bodies in the area of the incident as the rescue efforts came to an end and the semi-sunken wooden boat is being taken back to Bodrum in Turkey, according to the Turkish agency.

On Sunday, at least 34 people, including 15 children, drowned off Greece’s Farmakonisi Island on the Aegean Sea. A total of 68 were found alive, and 30 were able to reach Farmakonisi swimming after the boat sank due to being overcrowded and being battered by high winds, Athens News Agency reported.

On Saturday, five people, mostly children, went missing after a boat capsized off the Greek island of Samos; 24 people were rescued from the vessel.

Other than the bodies found and those rescued, the number of people on a capsized boat is often unknown. The journeys, organized by human smugglers, often take place on overloaded boats that do not have sufficient life jackets and other supplies.

The great influx of migrants and refugees via Turkey and Libya, has stirred controversies and exchanges of criticism between European Union states.

Egypt’s Dar al-Iftaa recently warned against mass migration from Syria, which would lead to altering the “demographic structure” of the entire region.

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