A Turkish court on Friday sentenced two Syrians to over four years in jail for human trafficking over the death of Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi, Turkish media reported.
The two Syrian nationals are accused of being involved in the shipwreck that claimed a total of 14 lives last September, the state Anadolu Agency said. Their boat was carrying undocumented Syrian migrants, including eight children, when it sank in the Aegean Sea on the way to Greece. Bodies were found washed up on a beach in Bodrum, Turkey.
The image of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi’s body lying face down in the sand was circulated by media worldwide. His mother and older brother also perished in the shipwreck.
Photographs of Alan’s body washed up on Bodrum beach in Turkey shocked the world and prompted fresh action from political leaders over the refugee crisis.
Since Aylan’s death, the European Union has faced a growing crisis over how to deal with hundreds of thousands of migrants from Syria and elsewhere, a crisis that threatens to tear the 28-nation bloc apart.
EU Council President Donald Tusk was visiting Turkey on Friday to press for closer cooperation in dealing with the migrants ahead of an EU summit on Monday.
Praised for taking in some 2.5 million refugees from Syria’s five-year civil war, Turkey – a candidate for EU membership – is under pressure to stop migrants making perilous onward journeys to Europe.