Nilüfer Demir - Yaşar Anter - Osman Uras / Muğla, Sep 3 () - While the image showing a toddler’s lifeless body having washed ashore on a beach in Turkey’s Aegean resort town of Bodrum sparked outrage across the world, the three-year-old Aylan, in the picture, and his five-year-old brother Galip lying face down in the surf tells the story of a family having attempted to fled the civil war in their Kurdish hometown Kobane in Syria and cross into Greece through Aegean, among many others.
The family was believed to be travelling on a tiny boat, carrying 15 migrants despite its capacity for only four people, before the boat capsized off the Aegean and bodies washed ashore the Ali Hoca Point beach around 06.00 a.m. on Sep. 2. While the water sports agencies called the gendarmerie of Bodrum after having noticed the bodies, gendarmerie officers came to the beach for inspections, noticed the migrants did not have any lifejackets.
The child was among at least 12 Syrian migrants having drowned, including five children, along with his five-year-old brother Galip, after two boats capsized on their way to Greek island of Kos. Another 15 migrants have been rescued, while eight people including two children in the first boat, and four people including three children in the second boat have died. The 35-year-old mother of the Aylan and Galip brothers, Rihan Kurdi from Kurdish town of Kobani, collapsed when he identified the bodies of the toddlers.
The efforts to identify the other children drowned in the tragic incident and others that have been hospitalized to Bodrum State Hospital continue, while the researches identified Aubdullah Kurdi, who has survived after having lost his two children and his wife.
“The hustle begins during night hours, as migrant inflate their boats, carry the boats, rapidly to the sea, and then put of the Aegean in minutes. We are not able to do anything. Sometimes we warn them, but usually they do not listen, they take off” said Kaan Cingisiz, one of the employees in the water sports agency in the region, adding that the inflatable boats were possibly burst since there weren’t any storm or a high wind that could capsize the boats.
One of the survivors of the disaster, Omer Mohsin of Syrian origin, told he found himself fainted at the beach, after he swam to the shore around 02.00 a.m. Mohsin told he wasn’t able to find his brother Bekir Mohsin yet, adding that they had paid 2050 euros per person to cross into Greek island, with 15 others, in a boat with 10-people-capacity.
The first boat having capsized off Bodrum was carrying 11-year-old Zainb Ahmet Hadi and 9-year-old Hayder Ahmet Hadi who have drown in the incident, and left a mother, Zeynep Abbas Hadi behind, facing the lifeless bodies of her two children off the shore. Mother Hadi tried to find solace with her 7-year-old daughter Rawas Ahmet who has survived in the tragedy.
Meanwhile, in the afternoon life returned to normal at Ali Hoca point, as many domestic and foreigner tourists flocked to the beach, toddlers made sand castles, right where their coevals died, far away from their hometown.
A resident of Akyarlar district of Bodrum, Eren Cerik said, “Particularly in the last two months, the transition to Greek islands have escalated in so much that neither gendarmerie nor coast guar teams could prevent. As you see, life continues at the beach”.
The coast guard teams, on the other hand, said that around 100 other migrants in attempt to cross into Greek island of Kos were captured throughout the night, on Sep. 2.