39 die as migrant boat sinks off Turkish coast

The victims were mostly from Syria, Afghanistan and Myanmar.

Dozens of people have been feared dead in a migrant boat capsize off Turkish coast on Friday.

The latest reports say close to 40 people including children died as a boat carrying migrants to the Greek island of Lesbos sank.

The victims were mostly from Syria, Afghanistan and Myanmar. Turkish coast guard said the boat sank off the coast of Ayvacik and that a search operation was going on.

The Hurriyet Daily News said at least 39 people died and 63 were rescued, citing Turkish coast guards.

Initial estimates had put the casualty at 10, saying more than 40 were saved. Later on Turkish state media raised the death toll to 33.

The Dogan news agency has reported Turkish officers have detained a man who is suspected to have arranged the human smuggling. Turkey had reached a deal with the European Union last November that it will help stem the flow of migrants to Europe through its borders.

Under the deal Turkey was to receive an aid of $3 billion to improve the condition of migrants living in Turkey.

More than 3,600 migrants have died or gone missing in the last 12 months around the world, even as a million migrants reached European countries fleeing political and humanitarian crises in their home countries.

More than a million still stay in Turkish soil, waiting to cross over into Europe.

The passage between Turkey and Greece has been one of the most perilous, taking the lives of 218 refugees so far this year.