Twelve people drowned Wednesday after a boat carrying illegal migrants to Greece capsized off the Turkish coast, private CNN-Turk television reported. The Turkish Coast Guard was searching for 18 missing migrants, the report said. The coast guard rescued four migrants in the Aegean Sea off the resort town of Cesme, the Anatolia news agency said.
Thousands of migrants from the Middle East, Asia and Africa pass through Turkish waters each year in an attempt to reach Western Europe.
The European Union, which Turkey wants to join, is pressing Turkey to crack down on illegal migration, according to the AP.