The death of Aylan Kurdi
2015-09-03 Turkey. The death of Aylan Kurdi
Alan Kurdi (Kurdish: Alan Kurdî), initially reported as Aylan Kurdi, was a three-year-old Syrian boy of Kurdish ethnic background whose image made global headlines after he drowned in the Mediterranean Sea, as part of the Syrian refugee crisis. Photographs of his body were taken by Turkish journalist Nilüfer Demir and quickly spread around the world, prompting international responses. Because Kurdî's family had reportedly been trying to reach Canada, his death and the wider refugee crisis immediately became an issue in the 2015 Canadian federal election.
The photograph of Kurdi's body caused grave international concern. French President François Hollande phoned Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and some European leaders after the images of Kurdi emerged in the world media. He said that the picture must be a reminder of the world's responsibility regarding refugees.British Prime minister David Cameron said he felt deeply moved by images of Kurdi. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny commented on the photographs of Kurdi and described the refugee crisis as a "human catastrophe" and found his pictures "absolutely shocking".
The picture has been credited with causing a surge in donations to charities helping migrants and refugees, with one charity, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station, recording a 15-fold increase in donations within 24 hours of its publication. The Daily Mail stated in a 10 September article that the "[h]arrowing" nature of Kurdi's death and the related images were "highlighting the horrific human cost of the global migrant crisis."
In a Guardian article Karl Mathiesen criticised media for calling Kurdi a "climate refugee", saying that "David Butter, an associate fellow with Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa programme, said such a conflict 'could have happened at any time in Syria, irrespective of the drought'".
A Dagbladet article on 9 September 2015 reported that claims had surfaced on various websites, including Reddit, alleging that Kurdi's body had been moved so that photographs would be better. Alan Kurdi's father blamed Canada for the boy's death, even though no application for asylum in Canada had been lodged.