Father Brings 'Precious' Drowned Sons Home

Turkish lawmakers accompany him across border
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 4, 2015 4:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Syrian man who survived a capsizing during a desperate voyage from Turkey to Greece has taken the bodies of his wife and two sons back to the Syrian Kurdish region they fled, to bury them in their hometown of Kobani. The haunting image of the man's 3-year-old son, Aylan Kurdi, washed up on a Turkish beach focused the world's attention on the wave of migration fueled by war and deprivation. A convoy of vehicles crossed into Kobani from the Turkish border town of Suruc today, with legislators from Turkey accompanying Abdullah Kurdi to Kobani. Journalists and well-wishers were stopped at a checkpoint near the border.

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Aylan drowned along with his 5-year-old brother, Galip, and his mother, Rehan, while trying to reach the island of Kos. The family had hoped to go to Canada, where Abdullah's sister lives. "Now I don't want anything," the grieving father said at a morgue in Turkey yesterday, per the New York Times. "Even if you give me all the countries in the world, I don't want them. What was precious is gone.” He tells the Times that he had been afraid of making the short sea journey with his family, but he'd paid smugglers extra to make the crossing in a motorboat instead of a rubber dinghy, which is what they turned up with. He says that after it sank, he tried to keep the boys afloat, but the exhausted children drowned during the three frantic hours they were in the water. (Read more Kobani stories.)

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