Turkey Investigates as suspected Boat Migrant Bodies Wash up on Beach

2024-01-22 06:35:13

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Authorities in Turkey are investigating eight bodies that washed up in the Mediterranean province of Antalya, including two found Monday on a beach in the vacation resort of Serik.

The Antalya governor´s office said one body is believed to be a Turkish citizen who was reported missing. Authorities believe the seven other bodies discovered over the past week may be migrants from a boat that went missing off the coast near the Syria-Lebanon border last month on its way to Cyprus.

An estimated 90 people were on board the boat that disappeared on Dec. 11, the governor´s office said, citing information provided by the Lebanese embassy in Turkey.

An evaluation of currents, winds and waves indicates that the victims may have been dragged toward the Antalya coastline, the office said in a statement.

In Lebanon, a lawyer who follows migrants´ cases, Mohammed Sablouh, said the boat left northern Lebanon with about 85 people on board, including 30 children.

Sablouh said contact was lost with another boat that left Lebanon on Thursday with about 50 or 60 people on board.

On Monday, resort staff found the two bodies 500 meters (1,640 feet) apart on the beach used by guests, the private Demirören News Agency reported.

The other bodies were found in resorts near the town of Manavgat and on the coast near Antalya city.

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