Turkish rescuers find wreck of missing migrant boat in eastern lake

Search-and-rescue teams in Turkey’s eastern Van province located on Wednesday the wreckage of a boat reported missing with up to 60 migrants on board, Duvar news site reported.

The boat, which capsized in Lake Van in stormy weather on June 27, is believed to have been carrying at least 55 migrants when it capsized. Officials have discovered 13 bodies so far.

Rescue teams used underwater imaging devices to locate the wreck 106.5 metres deep inside the lake, the Van governor's office said, adding that teams are working to recover the wreckage and possible bodies that may be inside.

Lake Van is located close to Turkey’s border with Iran. Authorities maintain that smugglers choose to cross the lake to avoid police and military checkpoints located along traditional transit routes used to traffic migrants into Turkey from Iran.

In 2015, Turkey became a popular crossing point for migrants hoping to reach the European Union. A 2016 deal between Turkey and the EU slowed down migrant traffic considerably, but thousands still attempt the journey every month.