Nine migrants drown off coast of western Turkey

A boat was carrying 13 illegal migrants

At least nine people, including children, died Thursday after a boat carrying 13 illegal migrants capsized off western Turkey’s Kuşadası coast.

Coast guard units and numerous ambulances were immediately referred to Kuşadası district in Aydın province, Turkish media reported.

Four migrants traveling on the same boat were found alive during the search and rescue operations.

Over the past years, thousands of people have made the short but dangerous attempt to cross the Aegean in a bid to reach Greece, before continuing on to northern and western Europe.

Turkey’s five Aegean provinces including Çanakkale, Balıkesir, Muğla, Izmir and Aydın are the regions most frequently used by refugees leaving Turkey for the EU.

An EU-Turkey agreement reached on March 20, 2016 allows for the return of “irregular migrants” to Turkey from Greece in exchange for Syrian refugees’ relocation from Turkey to within the EU bloc.