His name was Aylan... Syrian boy is symbol of refugee tragedy

The image of the body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi on a Turkish beach has reverberated across the world.

Three-year-old Aylan (left) and four-year-old Galip Kurdi from Syria died this week when the boat they were travelling in capsized off the Turkish coast. Picture: Supplied.


JOHANNESBURG - Three-year-old Aylan Kurdi fled Syria with his father Abdullah, mother Riyana and four-year-old brother Galip to seek a better life in Greece.

The only member of his family to survive that journey was his father, who has described how his children "slipped through my hands" when the boat they were travelling in capsized off the Turkish coast on 2 September.

The image of Aylan's tiny body washed up on a Turkish beach has since become a symbol of the unfolding human tragedy in the Mediterranean, where at least 2,600 people have already died this year as 350,000 have crossed the sea to flee war at home.

The body of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi off the shores in Bodrum, southern Turkey, on 2 September 2015 Picture: Nilufer Demir/Dogan News Agency/AFP.

As the haunting photo resounds across the world in traditional and social media, many hope this will be the turning point in mobilising the powers that be to give the refugee crisis the attention it deserves.

The front pages of some of Britain's daily newspapers showing an image of the body of Syrian three-year-old boy Aylan are pictured in London, on September 3, 2015. Picture: AFP


My comment in @Telegraph pic.twitter.com/xNvk8pxFxR

Editorial cartoonist @PatChappatte looks at the EU's reaction to images of drowned Syrian boy http://t.co/2u5C1LAVmg pic.twitter.com/EdYflHU4e9

#InPics: World artists pay tribute to #syrianchild who drowned off Turkey | See more at: http://t.co/tevYTyGexA pic.twitter.com/2qWKN5acWP

Hell is the reality we living in..

#KiyiyaVuranInsanlik pic.twitter.com/73wblRdkd8

A Syrian Child founded dead on Turkey beach.. http://t.co/Hmyqmze0vq #syria #child #turkey pic.twitter.com/JEMCEdcqHx

An image of Abdullah Kurdi, and his sons Aylan and Galip, sent to me by a family friend. Heartbreaking. pic.twitter.com/5s7RuY41ZT