Some 276 migrants were discovered in a boat in the western province of İzmir and eight alleged smugglers were detained for organizing the travel on the night of July 6.
Izmir Police’s human trafficking crews went to the Narlıdere beach upon reports of a boat that was going to smuggle migrants abroad and started tracking a boat off the shore.
Police raided the boat when it approached a fishers’ shack in the Sahilevleri district, recovering finding 276 migrants in dark compartments with little to no clean air input.
Some 59 children and 46 women were among the migrants, and some reported difficulty breathing after leaving the boat.
The 40-meter boat (about 131 feet) was discovered to have arrived to Izmir Bay on June 19 to pick up the smugglers and the migrants.
The boat was reportedly taking in water when it approached land under the pretenses of getting a repair, when in fact some parts were removed to allow more migrants to fit.
Turkey’s been observing increased migration activity since late February when Ankara announced it would allow crossings to Europe in anticipation of another wave of migrants from northern Syria due to increased military activity.