More than 50 migrants are reported to have disappeared after the sinking of the boat they tried to use to cross Lake Van in southeastern Turkey and a regular border crossing for refugees wishing to travel from Europe to the Middle East.
Emergency services recovered six bodies after the shipwreck, but Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has admitted that “between 55 and 60 illegal migrants could travel on board”. Searches continue to search for potential victims, according to the newspaper ‘Hurriyet.
The minister has confirmed the arrest of 11 people for their alleged relationship to the incident, which again highlights the dangers of the migration route. The lake is close to the border with Iran and serves as a border crossing, especially for those fleeing Afghanistan.
Van Lake was the scene of another shipwreck in which at least seven people died in December. The migrants were then identified as people from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.