VAN, Turkey

The death toll from a boat disaster in a lake in eastern Turkey has risen to 59 as five more bodies were recovered on Sunday. 

The boat carrying nearly 60 irregular migrants sank in Lake Van, Turkey’s largest lake, on June 27.

Five suspects have been remanded in custody over the incident.

Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the number of irregular migrants arriving in Turkey has declined.

However, more than 21,000 of them have reached Van so far this year, according to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu. Of them, 16,000 were denied entry but 4,500 managed to enter illegally, he added.

Turkey has been a key transit point for migrants aiming to cross to Europe to start a new life, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.