The drowned child washed up on a Turkish beach captured in a photograph that went around the world Wednesday was three-year-old Alan Kurdi. He died, along with his five-year-old brother Galib and their mother Rehan, in a desperate attempt to reach Canada.
The Syrian-Kurds from Kobane died along with eight other refugees early Wednesday. The father of the two boys, Abdullah, survived.
Heartbreaking: The 2 #refugee brothers who drowned alongside each other & whose bodies washed up on #Turkey ‘s shore
“I was trying to sponsor them, and I have my friends and my neighbours who helped me with the bank deposits, but we couldn’t get them out, and that is why they went in the boat. I was even paying rent for them in Turkey, but it is horrible the way they treat Syrians there,” Tima said.
Canada and Turkey have long been at loggerheads over the bottleneck blocking Syrian refugees in Turkey from finding their way to Canada. It is not uncommon for Kurds in Syria to be arbitrarily denied passports, and to have great difficulty registering as refugees with the UNHCR. The Turkish government refuses to issue exit visas to unregistered refugees not holding valid passports.