Turkish Boat Capsizes, 8 Drown
Aug. 28, 2000
BODRUM, Turkey (AP) _ The coast guard searched Sunday for 17 missing illegal immigrants feared drowned after their boat capsized during an attempt to reach Greece. Eight other dead bodies already had been recovered, authorities said.
A passenger swam ashore Saturday, hours after the ship went down. That brought to seven the known survivors of the shipwreck, which took place off the Greek island of Kos in the Aegean sea, Turkish navy Sgt. Avni Cindik said.
The ship was en route from Turkey to Greece with 31 illegal immigrants _ 18 Iraqis, eight Iranians and five Afghanis _ plus the captain when it sank. The two-day-old search was concentrated along the Turkish shore.
``We don't expect to find anyone in open seas,'' Cindik said. ``Their bodies should be washed ashore by now.''
On Sunday, police arrested three Turkish smugglers who allegedly organized the trip. The captain, who is expected to face criminal charges, said smugglers had offered him $1,000 for each person he smuggled into Greece.
Tens of thousands of immigrants from the Middle East and Asia cross illegally from Turkey to Greece each year on the way to Europe.