Screams broke through the early morning air near the city of Bodrum, in Turkey yesterday. At first, a local man said, people nearby thought a fight had broken out on the beach. Then they realised it was much more serious than that and alerted the authorities. Around 30 people had pushed offshore in a boat built for 10 and began to sink almost immediately. The screams were from those who weren't able to swim to shore.
Some did swim; some were rescued by locals and the Turkish coast guard. Two children rushed to hospital later died. The Turkish coast near Bodrum is temptingly close to the Greek island of Kos — separated by just 4 kilometers of Aegean Sea, migrants have tried to swim it in the past. Four people have been detained by Turkish authorities, suspected of attempting to smuggle the people across the sea to Greece.
When migrants do make it, their lives are not necessarily made markedly better. They are often housed in migrant camps, sometimes for years on end, as the EU countries they've arrived in decide on the outcome of their asylum claims. Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos has a particularly rough reputation, with high amounts of waste now threatening to close it down after years of reports of unsanitary conditions, disease outbreaks, and mental health issues.