Aylan's story: How desperation left a 3-year-old boy washed up on a Turkish beach – Washington Post
The first photo shows a small boy. He is wearing a red T-shirt and long shorts that stop below the knee. His shirt is hiked above his waist, exposing his midriff. He is wearing black sneakers with no socks. And he is dead, face down in the rocky surf.
In the second photo, the boy is being carried away by a policeman. The policeman is wearing latex gloves. The boy’s tiny feet dangle below the policeman’s waist; we see that one of the Velcro straps on his sneakers has come undone. And though we can’t know what the policeman is thinking as he carries a dead child from the ocean, one thing is clear: He is looking away.
The Kurdish boy who washed up on the beach was identified by Turkish officials as 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi in news reports. He was in one of two boats, Reuters reported, carrying a total of 23 people that set off separately from the Akyarlar area of Turkey’s Bodrum peninsula, apparently headed to the Greek island of Kos, where they could have attempted to enter the European Union.
Instead, officials said, the boat capsized, and Aylan washed up a few miles to the northeast in Turkey, not far from a beach resort. The dead included five children — among them Aylan’s 5-year-old brother — and one woman. According to the Independent, the woman was the boys’ mother, Rihan, 35. Seven were rescued, and two reached the shore in life jackets. According to the Ottawa Citizen, the boy’s father, Abdullah, survived.
This was not the family’s first attempt to escape the carnage of Syria. In June, the paper said, Aylan’s family “desperately” tried to emigrate to Canada — where Abdullah’s sister, Teema Kurdi, lives in Vancouver — but their refugee application was rejected by Canadian authorities.
“I heard the news at five o’clock this morning,” Teema Kurdi, who had gotten a call from Abdullah, told the Citizen on Wednesday. “All he said was, ‘My wife and two boys are dead.’”
“The family had two strikes against them,” reported the Citizen, “Like thousands of other Syrian Kurdish refugees in Turkey, the U.N. would not …Read More