Duvar English

A video has emerged of the final moments of migrants before they lost their lives in Turkey’s Lake Van in late June.

A boat carrying as many as 80 people on board capsized late at night on June 27 in Lake Van. Turkish rescue teams have so far retrieved the bodies of 61 migrants, in one of the worst disasters involving migrants in Turkey in recent years.

Reports indicated the migrants were from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.  

The migrant committee at the Van Bar Association on Aug. 5 released a video believed to be recorded roughly 15 minutes before the deadly boat wreck. The migrants are seen crossing the lake on an overcrowded boat.

Five people have been arrested on human smuggling charges following the incident.  

Lake Van is near Turkey’s border with Iran, from where migrants from Iran, Afghanistan and other countries regularly cross into Turkey heading west towards Europe.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said in July that more than 21,000 migrants have reached Van so far this year, Soylu said, adding that 16,000 of them were denied entry but 4,500 managed to enter illegally.

Seven people died and 64 were rescued when a boat carrying migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan sank on the lake in December 2019.