'They must see what happened to my little sons' – Irish Independent
Raziye Akkoc in Vienna
Published 05/09/2015 | 02:30
Relatives carry the body of Aylan Kurdi (3) during his funeral procession in Kobane, Syria
A heartbroken Syrian father buried his wife and his two little boys, drowned as they tried to flee to Europe.
In the Syrian town of Kobane, three-year-old Aylan Kurdi was laid to rest alongside his mother and five-year-old brother at “Martyr’s Cemetery” in the predominantly Kurdish community near the Turkish border.
Images of the tiny body of Aylan washed up on a beach near the Turkish resort of Bodrum focused the world’s attention on the wave of migration fuelled by war and deprivation.
While pressure is rising on European governments to tackle the crisis more effectively, the boys’ weeping father, Abdullah Kurdi, called on countries closer to home to act.
“I want Arab governments – not European countries – to see (what happened to) my children, and because of them to help people,” he said in footage posted online by a local radio station.
The three bodies were flown to a city near Turkey’s border with Syria, from where police-protected funeral vehicles made their way to the border town of Suruc and crossed into Kobane.
The ambulances drove past sobbing mourners, Kurdish flags and Kobane’s shelled-out buildings, to the cemetery.
Aylan’s body was discovered on a Turkish beach on Wednesday after the small rubber boat he and his family were in capsized.
They were among 12 migrants who drowned off the coast of Bodrum that day.
The route between Bodrum in Turkey and Kos, just a few kilometres, is one of the shortest from Turkey to the Greek islands, but it remains dangerous. Hundreds of people a day try to cross it despite the well-documented risks.
With the burial, Mr Abdullah abandoned any plans of leaving his homeland again. “He only wanted to go to Europe for the sake of his children,” said Suleiman Kurdi, an uncle of the grieving father.
“Now that they’re dead, he wants to stay here in Kobane next to them.”
Scores of mourners clustered around as the bodies were laid in the dry, bare earth of the Martyrs Cemetery. Clouds of dust rose as dirt was shovelled over the graves.
A Canadian legislator said the family, fleeing the conflict in Syria, had been turned down in a bid for legal entry to Canada even though it had close relatives there offering financial backing …Read More