The European Union wants explanations from Turkey how human traffickers could have taken two cargo ships filled with migrants out of the country and toward the EU without the authorities noticing.

European Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said Tuesday that "given what has happened in recent days with the two ships, we wanted to clarify things with the Turkish authorities."

The cargo ships were picked up in the Mediterranean last week with more than 1,000 migrants aboard, many of them fleeing Syria.

Bertaud said contacts with Turkey are happening at the "political and technical level."

She said that "it's always the same area the cargo ships are leaving from so there is a problem that has to be resolved there."