In a shipwreck with migrants west of the island of Mykonos, 108 people were rescued today and four people are missing. According to the Greek Coast Guard, 24 women, 21 children and 63 men were brought to safety by noon. The overcrowded sailing boat was in distress in stormy weather and filled with water, and there were no life jackets on board.
The search for the missing continues, but is difficult due to the strong winds in the region. The boat is said to have departed from the west coast of Turkey.
Athens accusations against Istanbul
Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis tweeted to Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu. Turkey can “do a better job” and work with the EU and Greece to protect lives and stamp out smuggling networks.
According to the Greek Coast Guard, smugglers are increasingly using sailing boats to send migrants from Turkey directly to Italy. Around 4,000 people are said to have made the crossing since the beginning of the year, but there have always been accidents.
The reason for choosing the long, more dangerous route is Greece’s tough stance on preventing boats from crossing to nearby Greek islands. Aid organizations accuse Athens of illegal pushbacks, which the government rejects.