ANKARA (Reuters) - Twenty-two migrants drowned and 200 more were rescued when a boat capsized in the Aegean Sea off the Turkish coast while trying to reach the Greek island of Kos on Tuesday, the Turkish coastguard said.
A total of 211 immigrants were rescued from the boat while divers recovered the bodies of 22 drowned passengers, the statement said.
The boat went down about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) off the resort town of Bodrum, where the drowned body of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi washed up two weeks ago, giving rise to a tragic image that shocked people around the world.
Television footage showed a crowded Turkish coastguard ship carrying rescued people to the shore. No one was immediately available for comment at the coastguard.
The news agency Dogan said the group had been traveling to Kos in a 20-metre (66-foot) wooden boat. Turkey is currently host to more than 2 million refugees, mostly from the conflict in Syria, and tens of thousands have set off from its coast for Greece and eventually northern Europe.
On Sunday, 34 people including 15 babies and children died when another wooden boat capsized off the Greek island of Farmakonisi.
In Europe’s worst migration crisis since World War Two, the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, expects at least 850,000 migrants and refugees to head to the continent this year.
Writing by Ece Toksabay; editing by David Dolan and Kevin Liffey