Turkish dailies cover the deaths of 36 refugees who drowned off the country's Aegean Sea coast


World Bulletin / News Desk

All dailies on Wednesday covered the death of 36 people who drowned off Turkey’s Aegean Sea coast when an inflatable boat carrying refugees sank early Tuesday.

"The death coast" was the headline on most papers, reporting the sad story of people who were on their way to Western Europe in search for a better life.

This journey, however, ended in their deaths after the boat capsized off the coast of western Turkey’s Balikesir province as it tried to reach the Greek island of Lesbos, MILLIYET wrote.

The Turkish Coast Guard rescued 12 refugees from the sinking vessel, the paper added.

The boat, which was also carrying women and children, capsized due to a strong storm, CUMHURIYET wrote, adding that among the dead are four children and a pregnant woman.

AKSAM quoted one of the survivors who said they were on their way back towards Turkey when the boat sank, claiming that the Greek coast guard had sent them back.

The refugees were believed to be from Iraq, Syria and Algeria, SABAH wrote.

The paper said they were wearing imitation life vests produced in Turkey's Izmir province. Police on Tuesday raided a manufacturing shop and seized over 1,000 fake life vests which were imitations of well-known brands, SABAH added.

"World is watching" was HURRIYET’s headline. "Thousands of people escaping conflicts in their countries are heading to Europe for a better life [but] which ends in their death," the paper wrote.

Recalling the iconic image of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi which provoked worldwide reaction in Sep. 2015, the paper says nothing has changed since then and that deaths were continuing.

According to the International Organization for Migration, more than a million refugees arrived in Europe by sea last year while an estimated 805 died at sea in the Aegean in 2015.

The organization said the year 2015 was the deadliest on record for refugees trying to reach Europe by sea, with at least 3,771 deaths recorded in the Mediterranean alone.

Wednesday’s papers also reported on a new government regulation on public-sector workers’ noon breaks for Friday prayers. The new rules will allow Muslims in Turkey to practice weekly communal prayers more easily.

The announcement came on Tuesday during a ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party group meeting at the Turkish parliament.

"Friday permit at public institutions" was VATAN’s headline, its story explaining that the government will regulate staff breaks at public institutions to allow for Friday Islamic prayer times.

"We have prepared a draft circular letter to arrange working hours on Friday so as not to hamper freedom of worship," HABERTURK quoted Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as saying.

Financial paper DUNYA covered a story where hundreds of companies have shut down in Turkey's southeastern Diyarbakir province because of the terror problem in the region.

"Financial migration from Diyarbakir," was the headline of the paper, which said national and international companies in the province are leaving businesses and tens of thousands of people face being out of work.

According to the newspaper at least 362 workplaces have closed down alone in Diyarbakir's central Sur district, an area which has seen intense counter-terrorism operations by Turkish forces against the PKK -- an armed group considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Ocak 2016, 11:57