The forgotten shipwrecked migrants of the Aegean Sea

The Aegean Sea, between Turkey and Greece, is a transit point for refugees fleeing the war in Syria or the Taliban in Afghanistan and trying to reach Europe. But their makeshift boats often sink. Off the Turkish coast, fishermen dread finding dead bodies in their nets... Rescuing shipwrecked migrants is now almost part of their daily routine. Our reporter has been to Dikili, a small Turkish fishing port just across the sea from the Greek island of Lesbos.


There was the heartbreaking photo of a dead child washed up on a beach. The photo of drowned Syrian toddler Aylan shocked the world. That was in early September 2015. His tiny body, lying on a beach in Turkey, became the symbol of the worst migration crisis since World War II.

But since then, the sinkings of migrant boats have not stopped. Hundreds of thousands of people have continued to try to reach Europe via the same dangerous path. And hundreds have lost their lives.

In northwestern Turkey, for the inhabitants of the small fishing village of Dikili in Izmir province, like for those of the chic resort of Cesme, daily life over the past year has been punctuated by these tragedies of which they are often helpless witnesses. Hearing their eyewitness accounts also means telling the stories of those who risked their lives for an uncertain future. Lives that ended on a makeshift boat, at the mercy of the waves.

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