4 dead, 20 missing as migrant boat sinks off Turkey’s Black Sea coast: reports

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Updated 22 September 2017

4 dead, 20 missing as migrant boat sinks off Turkey’s Black Sea coast: reports

ISTANBUL: Four people drowned and up to 20 were missing on Friday after a fishing boat carrying migrants sunk off Turkey’s Black Sea coast, reports said.
Thirty-eight migrants were rescued but search and rescue efforts are in progress to find 15-20 people still missing in the incident off the Kefken district of the Kocaeli province east of Istanbul, the Anadolu and Dogan news agencies said.
It was not clear where the boat had left from and where it was headed.
Turkey has emerged as a hub for migrants from trouble zones around the world including Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan seeking to move to the European Union.
In 2015, around a million people undertook risky sea journeys to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, mostly to Greece from Turkey over the Aegean Sea.
Thousands died in the perilous crossing. Responding to international pressure, Turkey tightened its sea borders and cracked down on migrant smuggling rings as part of a 2016 deal with the European Union.
The numbers of migrants crossing the Aegean has now dwindled. But increasing numbers, now rising to hundreds within a month, are now trying to cross the Black Sea from Turkey to EU member Romania.


Turkey, Greece agree to resume talks to resolve disputes

Updated 22 September 2020

Turkey, Greece agree to resume talks to resolve disputes

  • Erdogan called for a regional conference that would gather all sides involved in the dispute — including Turkish Cypriots
  • The two neighboring NATO members have been locked in a tense standoff over energy exploitation rights

ANKARA, Turkey: Turkey and Greece are ready to resume talks in a bid to overcome a dispute over maritime boundaries and rights to exploit oil and gas resources, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office said Tuesday.
The statement followed his video conference meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Council President Charles Michel.
During the meeting, Erdogan called for a regional conference that would gather all sides involved in the dispute — including Turkish Cypriots — and said the “momentum” for dialogue should be protected,” according to the statement.
The two neighboring NATO members have been locked in a tense standoff over energy exploitation rights in an area between Turkey’s southern coast, several Greek islands and the war-divided island of Cyprus. Turkey sent a research vessel into the disputed waters this summer.
Following mediation efforts by Germany and others, Turkey pulled back the research vessel to port and both countries eased their naval presence and halted military exercises, paving the way for a dialogue.
It was not clear when and how the talks would begin. Erdogan told Merkel and Michel that “steps to be taken by Greece” would determine the course of the talks.
Greek-Turkish talks to resolve disputes were last held in 2016.
The Turkish leader also said he hoped that the next European Union summit would breathe new life into Turkish-EU ties, including allowing Turkish citizens visa-free travel rights to Europe and sealing a new agreement on migration.
EU members Greece and Cyprus had been pushing for EU sanctions against Turkey at the Sept. 24-25 summit meeting to due Turkey’s search for energy inside Cyprus’ economic zone. But the summit has been postponed for a week because Michel has gone into quarantine after a close collaborator was diagnosed with COVID-19.