ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Seventeen migrants drowned when their boat sank on Sunday off the Turkish coast while headed for the Greek island of Kos, the Anadolu Agency reported.
The boat was carrying 37 people, 20 of whom were rescued, when it sank in the Aegean Sea, Anadolu said, citing local governor Amir Cicek.
The 8-meter boat had set off from the coastal village of Gumusluk and all those on board had been accounted for, Anadolu said.
The area is part of the larger Bodrum peninsula, a popular tourist destination where this summer the body of drowned toddler Aylan Kurdi washed up, sparking international outrage.
A record 300,000 or more Syrians and other migrants have arrived in Greece, mostly setting off from Turkey’s Aegean coast, according to the International Organisation for Migration.
While Kos is just 4 km (2.5 miles) from Bodrum at its closest, the journey is perilous, as migrants often cram into rubber dinghies captained by men with little or no seafaring experience.
The coastguard has rescued more than 53,000 migrants, but 274 have died in Turkish waters, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus has said, without giving a time frame.
Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by David Holmes