Witness: Migrant Drowning Will Haunt Me Forever

Turkish woman tried to save boy after 37 drowned
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 1, 2016 12:05 AM CST
Gulcan Durdu talks to the AP in Ayvacik, Turkey.   (Uncredited)

(Newser) – A witness to the drowning of 37 people, including babies and other young children off Turkey's coast, described the horror and screams in the moments after the boat carrying the migrants slammed into rocks, saying it was like "somebody was being murdered." Gulcan Durdu, whose home is on the beach in Ayvacik, cried Sunday while recounting for the AP the tragedy that happened at dawn the previous day. She described being awakened by screaming and wailing after the boat struck rocks and capsized. Durdu said that she and her husband rushed to try to help survivors and brought a boy to their home to try to warm him up. The boy was still alive when she handed him over to paramedics who had arrived, Durdu said, adding that she would be haunted by the tragedy forever.

"I will never stop hearing those cries for the rest of my life," Durdu said. "I will never forget. It was terrible. They died screaming. It was dark." Images of dead children on a beach on Saturday were another soul-searing reminder that Europe's migrant crisis keeps destroying lives and families by the day. The body of one boy was lying on large rocks on the beach, his face covered by a cloth, while the faces of other bodies scattered nearby were covered with life jackets.The migrants were trying to make the short journey from Turkey to Greece. European countries have been strained by the influx of migrants, leading to disagreements over what to do with the large number of new arrivals and how to share the burden. (Masked men attacked migrants in Sweden on Friday.)

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