Children's bodies found on western Turkish coast

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Two children thought to be refugees seeking to reach Greek islands

IZMIR, Turkey – The bodies of two children, thought to be refugees, were found washed up on Turkey’s west coast on Tuesday, the coast guard said.

They were wearing life jackets when they were found by fishermen near Cesme in the western province of Izmir.

No further information on the children was released but the coast guard said more than 200 people were rescued in the waters off western Turkey on Tuesday as they tried to reach Greek islands.

Turkish officials said they had stepped up search and rescue operations in the Aegean Sea in anticipation of strong storms on Wednesday and Thursday.

Thousands of refugees and asylum seekers are trying to reach Europe via the Greek islands.

According to UNICEF, around 185 refugee children have died in the seas between Turkey and Greece so far this year.

According to the International Organization for Migration, 878,000 crossed the Mediterranean in 2015. Nearly 600 have died in the waters between Greece and Turkey.

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