More than 30 migrants including three children have drowned after their boat capsized in rough water off the Turkish coast.

 

They had been trying to reach the Greek island of Lesbos, Turkish authorities said.

 

The first of the bodies began to wash up on the beach at around 5am along the coast of Ayvalik, a Turkish town directly opposite Lesbos.

 

Twelve other people were rescued at the site as the Turkish coastguard searched for survivors who had tried to make the crossing.

 

Local administrator Namik Kemal Nazli has stated that the victims of the first incident are believed to be from Iran, Algeria and Syria.

 

They had been trying to reach the Greek island of Lesbos, Turkish authorities said.

 

The first of the bodies began to wash up on the beach at around 5am along the coast of Ayvalik, a Turkish town directly opposite Lesbos.

 

Twelve other people were rescued at the site as the Turkish coastguard searched for a reported 22 migrants who tried to make the crossing.

 

The remaining ten bodies were found further south in the town of Dikili, a Turkish gendarmerie official said.

 

The IOM (International Organisation for Immigration) estimates that some 3,771 migrants have died in similar crossings over the last year.

 

Video footage posted by Turkish publisher Dogan showed the rescue effort in action with members of the coast-guard removing the bodies of victims from the shallow waters.

 

The Turkish coastguard used three boats and a helicopter to continue searching for survivors, a coast-guard official.

 

Some 850,000 migrants have flooded into Greece alone in the last year. Turkey is often used as a stepping stone into Europe due to its extreme proximity with the Eastern Aegean Greek islands.

 

Though the worsening weather conditions have deterred some from making the crossing to Europe, the influx of migrants continues at unprecedented rates.

 

Turkey has since pledged to help control the migrant influx to Europe on the condition that talks are renewed to discuss its joining the EU.

 

Though Turkey has spent $8.5 billion on housing and feeding 2.2 million Syrian immigrants since 2011 it has been criticised for not offering a long term plan including Syrian integration

 

Telegraph