People check bodies of migrants that were drowned as they were trying to reach Greece, at a port near Izmir, Turkey, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016. (IHA via AP) TURKEY OUT
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Forty-five people drowned when three refugee boats sank Friday off Greece, as Turkey pledged to "do everything" to stop record numbers of migrants heading to Europe.In a stark illustration of the high cost of the voyage, Greek and Turkish coastguards recovered the bodies of 45 migrants – including 20 children – whose boats capsized on their way to Greece, officials said Friday.Greek rescuers pulled 74 people to safety after two boats ran into trouble off the Aegean islands of Farmakonisi and Kalolimnos in the early hours. U.N. figures showed 149 people perished or are feared dead in their sea journey to Europe in January alone.Merkel is well aware of the pivotal role played by Turkey, which shares a border with war-torn Syria and is also the main launchpad to Europe for migrants.Under a November deal with the EU, Ankara had already agreed to reduce the number of migrants coming through, but between 2,000 and 3,000 people are still arriving daily in Greece from Turkey. EU member states are meanwhile still squabbling over the financing for aid towards the 2.2 million Syrian refugees that Turkey is hosting.
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