Image of drowned boy washed up on Turkey beach highlights plight of migrants – Sydney Morning Herald
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE BELOW
Ankara: An image of a drowned toddler washed up on the beach in one of Turkey’s prime tourist resorts has swept across social media, after at least 12 presumed Syrian migrants died trying to reach the Greek island of Kos.
The picture showed a little boy wearing a bright red t-shirt and shorts lying face-down in the surf on a beach near the resort town of Bodrum. In a second image, a grim-faced policeman carries the tiny body away.
The hashtag “KiyiyaVuranInsanlik” – “humanity washed ashore” – became the top trending topic on Twitter after this and other pictures were retweeted heavily.
The two boats, carrying a total of 23 people, had set off separately from the Akyarlar area of the Bodrum peninsula, a senior Turkish naval official said.
The confirmed dead included five children and one woman. Seven people were rescued and two reached the shore in lifejackets. The official said hopes were fading of saving the two people still missing.
Television images showed the lifeless body of a small boy dressed in a red t-shirt and blue shorts lying face-down on the sand in Bodrum, one of Turkey’s most popular beach resorts.
A police officer carries the dead migrant child after he washed up on a beach near the Turkish resort of Bodrum. Photo: AP
Tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland have descended on Turkey’s Aegean coast this summer to board boats to Greece, their gateway to the European Union.
The official said almost 100 people in all had been rescued by Turkish vessels overnight as they tried to reach Kos.
Aid agencies estimate that, over the past month, about 2000 people a day have been making the short crossing to Greece’s eastern islands on rubber dinghies.
A ship bringing about 1800 migrants and refugees from one of the islands arrived at the port of Piraeus near Athens on Tuesday night, the Greek coastguard said.
Thousands of people, mainly Africans, have also been trying to reach Europe via boat from Libya to Italy. The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said four bodies had been pulled from the central Mediterranean on Tuesday and 781 migrants rescued, mostly from Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Senegal.
So far this year, more than 2500 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean, the UNHCR said.
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