Turkey rescues 35 migrants from half-sunken boat in Aegean Sea

The Turkish coast guard rescued 35 migrants from a boat, which half sank near a small island off the coast of Ayvalık in Turkey's western Balıkesir province on Monday, Yeni Çağ daily said.

The coast guard launched search and rescue operations at 2:45 a.m. and is still searching for four more missing people, it said.

In 2015, Turkey emerged as the main launching point for hundreds of thousands of migrants hoping to reach the European Union, including many fleeing the war in Syria. 

Migrant traffic slowed considerably after a 2016 deal between Turkey and the EU, though thousands still attempt the journey every month.

An annual U.S. State Department report on human trafficking published this month said the Turkish government has failed to fully comply with minimum standards in the prevention of trafficking.