Mediterranean Response

Throughout its history, Turkey’s unique geographic position has contributed to its role as a cross roads for migrants and refugees. With the sustained conflict in the region, Turkey is both a destination country and a transit country for those hoping to reach European shores. In 2015, an unprecedented number of migrants and refugees crossed the Mediterranean to reach Europe. Over 850,000 migrants and refugees landed on Greece’s shores in 2015, and sadly, over 800 people lost their lives in the Agean Sea. Over the past year, IOM Turkey worked to quickly and effectively respond to the humanitarian and migration crisis.

IOM supports the Turkish Coast Guard to meet the humanitarian needs of the rescued migrants and refugees. Our activities include:

  • Food distribution
  • Non-food item (NFI) distribution: clothing, shoes, blankets, heaters, tarpaulins

In addition, IOM Turkey supports the Turkish Coast Guard by strengthening lifesaving activities and facilitating technical conversations on lifesaving technologies. For example, IOM Turkey provided rescue platforms for the Turkish Coast Guard Command during rescue operations that provide flotation for ten adults until further assistance can arrive.

Mediterranean Developments-Rescues/ Apprehensions by Turkish Coast Guard


Number of Cases

Number of irregular migrants

Number of Deaths

Number of Facilitators











Source: Turkish Coast Guard


Working with Refugees and Migrants Rescued at Sea