36 migrants killed in 2 boat disasters off Turkey

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Authorities recovered the bodies Tuesday of at least 36 migrants who drowned off Turkey after their boats overturned in rough waters as they tried to reach the Greek island of Lesbos, officials and news reports said. Twelve others were rescued.

Nine bodies, including those of children, washed up on a beach in the resort town of Ayvalik early in the morning, prompting authorities to dispatch coast guard boats and gendarmerie officials to search the area by sea and by land for possible survivors.

WARNING: Images from the scene may be disturbing:

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Migrants killed in boat disaster off Turkey
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36 migrants killed in 2 boat disasters off Turkey
The body of a migrant lies on the beach in Dikili, Izmir, Turkey, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. A Turkish media report says the bodies of seven more migrants have washed up on a shore in Turkey _ in a second migrant tragedy at sea in one day. The Dogan news agency the drowned bodies, including women and children, washed up at the coast of Dikili on Tuesday, hours after nine bodies were discovered further north, on a sandy beach in the resort of Ayvalik. Dikili and Ayvalik _ some 50 kilometers (30 miles) away _are crossing points for migrants trying to make their way to the Greek island of Lesbos.(DHA via AP) TURKEY OUT
A Turkish rescue worker looks at the body of a migrant lying on the beach in Ayvalik, Turkey, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. A Turkish media report says the bodies of seven more migrants have washed up on a shore in Turkey _ in a second migrant tragedy at sea in one day. The Dogan news agency the drowned bodies, including women and children, washed up at the coast of Dikili on Tuesday, hours after nine bodies were discovered further north, on a sandy beach in the resort of Ayvalik. Dikili and Ayvalik _ some 50 kilometers (30 miles) away _are crossing points for migrants trying to make their way to the Greek island of Lesbos.(AP Photo)
Paramilitary police officers investigate around the body of a migrant on the beach in Dikili, Izmir, Turkey, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. A Turkish media report says the bodies of seven more migrants have washed up on a shore in Turkey _ in a second migrant tragedy at sea in one day. The Dogan news agency the drowned bodies, including women and children, washed up at the coast of Dikili on Tuesday, hours after nine bodies were discovered further north, on a sandy beach in the resort of Ayvalik. Dikili and Ayvalik _ some 50 kilometers (30 miles) away _are crossing points for migrants trying to make their way to the Greek island of Lesbos.(DHA via AP) TURKEY OUT
BALIKESIR, TURKEY - JANUARY 5: (EDITORS NOTE: Image depicts death) The body of a refugee is washed ashore on a beach in Ayvalik district of Balikesir after a boat carrying refugees sank off during their journey to Europe on January 5, 2016. (Photo by Suat Salgin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BALIKESIR, TURKEY - JANUARY 5: (EDITORS NOTE: Image depicts death) The body of a refugee is washed ashore on a beach in Ayvalik district of Balikesir after a boat carrying refugees sank off during their journey to Europe on January 5, 2016. (Photo by Suat Salgin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BALIKESIR, TURKEY - JANUARY 5: (EDITORS NOTE: Image depicts death) The body of a refugee is washed ashore on a beach in Ayvalik district of Balikesir after a boat carrying refugees sank off during their journey to Europe on January 5, 2016. (Photo by Suat Salgin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BALIKESIR, TURKEY - JANUARY 5: Turkish coast guards conduct a search and rescue operation as bodies of 8 refugees were washed ashore on a beach in Ayvalik district of Balikesir after a boat carrying refugees sank off during their journey to Europe on January 5, 2016. (Photo by Suat Salgin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BALIKESIR, TURKEY - JANUARY 5: (EDITORS NOTE: Image depicts death) The body of a refugee is washed ashore on a beach in Ayvalik district of Balikesir after a boat carrying refugees sank off during their journey to Europe on January 5, 2016. (Photo by Suat Salgin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BALIKESIR, TURKEY - JANUARY 5: (EDITORS NOTE: Image depicts death) The body of a refugee is washed ashore on a beach in Ayvalik district of Balikesir after a boat carrying refugees sank off during their journey to Europe on January 5, 2016. (Photo by Suat Salgin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BALIKESIR, TURKEY - JANUARY 5: (EDITORS NOTE: Image depicts death) The body of a refugee is seen after she washed ashore on a beach in the Altinova neighborhood in the Ayvalik district of Balikesir after a boat carrying refugees sank off during their journey to Europe on January 5, 2016. At least twenty-four people drowned off Turkeys Aegean Sea coast when an inflatable boat carrying refugees sank. (Photo by Hanife Erdinc/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BALIKESIR, TURKEY - JANUARY 5: (EDITORS NOTE: Image depicts death) Turkish gendarmeries make crime scene investigation after refugees washed ashore on a beach in the Altinova neighborhood in the Ayvalik district of Balikesir after a boat carrying refugees sank off during their journey to Europe on January 5, 2016. At least twenty-four people drowned off Turkeys Aegean Sea coast when an inflatable boat carrying refugees sank. (Photo by Hanife Erdinc/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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Seven other bodies were washed up on a shore at Dikili, a resort about 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Ayvalik, the victims of a second migrant tragedy, the private Dogan news agency reported. The dead included women and children, the agency said.

By late afternoon, the gendarmerie forces had recovered a total of 29 bodies in the area while seven others were found by the coast guards, a Coast Guard statement said, without providing details.

Around 850,000 migrants and refugees crossed into Greece last year, paying smuggling gangs to ferry them over from Turkey in frail boats.

Undeterred by the bitter cold and the rough winter seas, migrants are continuing to risk the journey to Greece in the hope of a better future in Europe. Most of them are Syrian refugees escaping the civil war.

The International Organization for Migration estimates that 3,771 migrants overall died while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe last year. It says that makes it the deadliest year on record for migrants crossing the Mediterranean, with the number of deaths rising from 3,279 in 2014.

The IOM said 2,892, or 77 percent, of the deaths last year were on the central Mediterranean route, mainly involving people crossing from Libya. However, there were 805 deaths in the eastern Mediterranean, accounting for 21 percent of the total. That's 1 percent more than the previous year, reflecting the increasing popularity of that route.

Top officials from Denmark, Sweden and Germany, meanwhile, were scheduled to hold talks in Brussels on Wednesday amid concern about new border control measures aimed at stopping migrants entering northern Europe, EU officials said Tuesday.

Sweden introduced ID checks on all people entering from Denmark, and Denmark tightened border controls on its border with Germany on Monday for at least 10 days, citing concerns about public security because of migrant movements and border measures taken by other EU member states.

Danish officials said 18 people without proper ID were refused entry from Germany in the first 12 hours of the increased border crossing checks. Three people were also arrested, suspected of human smuggling.

In Turkey, Namik Kemal Nazli, the local administrator for Ayvalik, told the state-run Anadolu Agency that the victims of the first incident are believed to be from Iraq, Algeria and Syria. There was no information on the nationalities of those drowned in the second incident.

A body with a lifejacket was pulled from the sea onto the beach at Ayvalik by a fisherman and a military police official, Dogan news agency video footage showed. Other bodies, also in lifejackets, were seen lying nearby.

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Geir Moulson in Berlin and Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report.

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