Turkey Opens Fire to Stop Syrian Migrant Ship
The Turkish coastguard opened fire to stop a cargo vessel carrying 337 mainly Syrian migrants heading towards European Union waters and arrested the suspected traffickers, a top local official said Friday.
The coastguard had on Thursday evening launched an operation to chase down the 59 metre (194 foot) Dogan Kartal as it headed through the Dardanelles Straits in northwest Turkey.
The vessel initially paid no heed to calls to stop, including warning shots, but was eventually He did not gove further details on how the vessel was halted.
Turkish crew members identified as Y.Y. and N.K. along with three suspected foreign organisers of the trafficking were arrested.
Traffic in the Dardanelles Straits — one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes — was temporarily halted during the operation.
The Syrian refugees were taken off the ship and housed in a sports hall in the nearby town of Gelibolu.
Where the ship had been headed was not immediately clear.