Eight missing after migrant boat sinks off Turkey: Reports

The Turkish coastguard was searching Monday for eight people believed to be Syrian migrants missing after their boat capsized off southwestern Turkey while on its way to Greece, news reports said.

Istanbul: The Turkish coastguard was searching Monday for eight people believed to be Syrian migrants missing after their boat capsized off southwestern Turkey while on its way to Greece, news reports said.

Rescuers have found two people alive but were still searching for eight others off the Aegean resort of Bodrum, the Dogan news agency reported.

The boat had set off from the Turkish port of Gumusluk on Sunday carrying the migrants towards EU member Greece but capsized in heavy winds shortly after leaving.

The stricken vessel was spotted by fishermen on Monday and the two people rescued were taken to hospital in Bodrum.

The western coast of Turkey is currently being battered by a seasonal winter wind known as the "lodos" which also caused dozens of flight and ferry cancellations on Monday.

Turkey has become a hub for migrants -- especially from Syria, the Middle East and Central Asia -- who aspire to reach Europe in search of a better life.

Thirty seven migrants, believed mainly to be of Afghan origin, lost their lives in November when their overloaded boat sank in the Black Sea off Istanbul.

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