(From Turkish Probe)
Scores of illegal migrants die:
Illegal migrants' journey of hope ended in tragedy. Out of 70 immigrants, aiming to continue on to Europe for a better life, 69 died when the wooden boat they were sailing in sank last week near a Turkish coast.
The sole survivor of the shipwreck, an Iranian in his twenties who clung to a piece of wood for hours, told investigators that 70 people were aboard the 14-meter boat when it sank in the Mediterranean Sea Saturday. Turkish authorities, however, have so far only been able to confirm that 37 migrants who had stayed at a local hotel had been aboard the vessel.
The boat left the Turkish resort of Marmaris late Friday. It sank on its way to the Greek island of Rhodes, 50 kilometers to the south. The exact location where the boat went down was unclear.
The Greek Merchant Marine Ministry said early Tuesday that it had called off its searches for the day because of strong winds.
According to the survivor's account, the boat began to take on water during the trip and eventually capsized.
Turkish authorities have detained five people suspected of involvement in the smuggling of the migrants. Aksoy said the five were still being questioned Tuesday.
Turkey is a major transit route for illegal immigrants on their way to prosperous western European countries.