Many More Migrants Still Missing After Smuggler's Boat Goes Down Off Aegean Coast
Television footage showed a Coast Guard official pulling a body from the sea onto a beach. A boat brought a dozen more bodies, which were placed in black body bags and lined along a dock.
Strong winds and rough seas hampered rescue work, private NTV television reported. Rescuers were also searching areas close to the Greek island of Chios for bodies, the report said.
Thousands of immigrants from Asia and Africa enter Turkey illegally on their way to European Union countries in search of jobs and a better life.
Smugglers often take the migrants from the Turkish coast to nearby Greek islands on fragile and overcrowded boats, and such accidents are not uncommon.
The European Union, which Turkey wants to join, is pressing Turkey to crack down on illegal immigration.
EU-member Greece, which has a 8,000-mile coastline dotted with thousands of islands, has accused Turkish authorities of not doing enough to halt the flow of illegal migrants.
Turkey has increased patrols along its Aegean and Mediterranean coastlines, but boats still get through. Smugglers travel at night to reduce the chances of being detected and choose winter months when Turkey's coasts are deserted.