The seas are rough and cold. The wind is bitter. The overcrowded
smugglers' boats are far from seaworthy, with many unable even to make
it across a few miles of water — and the bodies of those who drown as
the boats sink are fished out of the churning seas day by day.
Yet tens of thousands of men, women and children fleeing violence and poverty in their homelands continue to risk their lives this winter to make the relatively short but dangerous journey from the Turkish coast to nearby Greek islands, seeking a better future in Europe.