11 migrants, including 3 children, drown off Turkey – report

ANKARA, Turkey – Eleven migrants bound for EU member Greece, including three children, drowned off the Turkish coast on Tuesday, December 22, when their boat sank in the latest tragedy in the Aegean Sea, the state-run Anatolia news agency said.

Seven people were rescued in the incident off Turkey's Aegean Sea resort of Kusadasi but coastguards found the bodies of 11 people, including three children, it added.

The migrants appeared to have been trying to reach the Greek island of Samos which lies opposite Kusadasi.

The disaster happened as the UN refugee agency and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced more than one million migrants and refugees reached Europe this year.

The vast majority of people -- 821,008 -- landed in Greece, according to the figures.

Turkey, which is already hosting at least 2.2 million migrants from the war in Syria, has emerged as the major hub for refugees and migrants seeking to go to Europe.

The EU and Turkey agreed a deal for Ankara to step up its work to stop migrants heading to Europe in return for a package of EU financial help.

But even with the bad weather of winter starting, there has so far been no obvious halt to the flow of migrants and deadly disasters are still regularly reported every week.

Eighteen people drowned off Turkey overnight Friday to Saturday when their boat sank in the Aegean Sea as it was heading for the Greek island of Kalymnos.

A report from Luxembourg, which currently holds the EU's presidency, said last week that the much-touted EU-Turkey deal had done little to dent the migration pattern, with around 4,000 people landing daily this month in Greece. – Rappler.com