Josh Dehaas, CTVNews.caPublished Friday, September 4, 2015 3:53PM EDTLast Updated Friday, September 4, 2015 6:52PM EDT
The aunt of two Syrian boys who drowned with their mother off the coast of Turkey says she blames herself for sending her brother money to pay for human smugglers, and that her grieving brother’s wish is to see the smuggling stopped.
Tima Kurdi’s comments come on the same day that her brother Abdullah Kurdi buried his sons Alan and Ghalib, and his wife Rehanna, in Kobani, Syria, the city they had fled in hopes of a safer life.
Kurdi’s words also came just as Turkey’s state-run news agency announced four suspected human traffickers had been arrested in connection with the drowning of 12 migrants, including the Kurdis.
Tima Kurdi told reporters outside her home in Port Coquitlam, B.C., about the events that led to the tragedy, which grabbed the world’s attention after a photo of three-year-old Alan’s lifeless body washed up on a Turkish beach Wednesday.
Kurdi said that Abdullah was desperate for a better life for his family, because of the threat of bombs and from ISIS, whose militants had beheaded a relative in an attack on Kurds. She said her brother sent a photo of the gruesome murder.
Kurdi said Abdullah had told her weeks ago that a rubber boat from Turkey to Greece cost 1,200 Euros per adult, “but if I’m going to take a jet boat, which is safer and is faster, it’s 2,000 Euros per person.”
Kurdi said she suggested he ought to take the jet boat, and wired him $5,000. She said she warned her brother that she had seen a news report about people selling fake life jackets.
“My kids (are) the world to me,” she recalled him saying. “I would never buy a fake one.”
After speaking to Abdullah over the phone Friday, Kurdi said he expressed a desire that “somebody stop the smugglers.”
“He doesn’t want any of those families to do the same thing and cross that water,” she said. “It’s not worth it to lose your own kids and your life.”
Kurdi said Abdullah had originally wanted to come to Canada but turned his sights to Sweden, after his brother Mohammed’s application to Canada was returned …Read More