No: 240, 4 July 2021, Press Release Regarding The Loss Of Lives Of 43 Migrants In A Boat Sank In The Central Mediterranean On July 3rd, 2021

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 04.07.2021

We have learned with sorrow that a boat embarked from Libya carrying 127 migrants, mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa, sank in the Central Mediterranean, leading to the loss of lives of 43 migrants, while 84 migrants were rescued.

This tragedy in the Mediterranean is not the first of its kind, nor will it be the last. Turkey regrets such unfortunate events and loss of lives on the migration routes. Only this year, 866 migrants have lost their lives in the Mediterranean to date. Rescuing lives at sea is a moral, as well as a legal obligation of all states.

However, lack of coordination of search and rescue responsibility at sea within the EU and endeavours to shift international obligations to transit countries, pose a threat to right to life of migrants.

Neither Turkey nor Libya is the source of irregular migration. The root causes of mixed migration movements are continuing instabilities, conflicts and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan and Syria. It is not possible to find a solution to this problem or prevent migration without eliminating its root causes. Efforts to the contrary, will only increase the sufferings and loss of lives at sea of migrants and asylum seekers.

On this occasion, we once again invite the international community to find solutions to the root causes of mixed migration movements in our region and to share responsibility and burden fairly.

Atatürk

Mehmet Vakur Erkul Ambassador
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