KRP calls on international community to assist refugees
Toddler’s dad: ‘ Everything I was dreaming of is gone’
The Kurdistan Region Presidency released a statement today regarding the latest phenomenon of the Kurdish refugees heading to Europe. The statement made reference to the latest photograph released of Aylan Kurdi, the Kurdish child from Kobane who was laying lifelessly on a Turkish beach after an attempt by their family to cross into Europe in search of a safer refuge.
The Kurdistan Region Presidency statement called upon the people of Kurdistan to remain in their homeland and also called upon the international community to provide assistance to those who have fled their homeland.
Aylan Kurdi's last journey was supposed to take him to a safe home -- hundreds of miles away from the relentless war in his native Syria.
Instead, it ended with a funeral for the 2-year-old in the city his family tried to flee.
Aylan's body arrived in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Friday. From there, it made its final trip home to Kobani, the Syrian city his family left to escape the daily barrage of bombs.
The tiny boy with a cheeky smile may be gone, but the wrenching images showing his drowned body will live on.
The photos, which have galvanized the world and become the latest symbol of the migrant crisis in Europe, show his body lying on a Turkish beach. He's wearing a red shirt and black shoes, his face partly covered by sand and gentle waves, as if he were sleeping. Only his father survived Aylan's family was among the throngs making the treacherous journey aboard overcrowded rafts in the choppy Mediterranean waters.
Exhausted by the constant conflict and struggle for survival, they left their hometown in search of a better, safer life.
Aylan, his brother, Galip, 4, and mother, Rehen, drowned trying to make that dream a reality. The children's father, Abdullah Kurdi, survived, and accompanied their bodies to Kobani, where they were buried.
"I don't know what to do," he said as three coffins sat nearby. "I don't know what to say."
Kurdi said he will stay in the war-torn city where his wife and children are buried adjacent to one another.
Tiny body, big message
Abdullah Kurdi says the trip from hell started when he boarded a small, overcrowded boat in Turkey with 12 people on board. It was manned by two smugglers: a Turk and a Syrian.
"I told him, ' Should we empty the boat? Should I get off with my wife and child?' "
One of the smugglers replied, "'No, no, it is good,'" he recounted.
As soon as the boat set out, large waves crashed against it. They pounded harder, forcing one smuggler to jump overboard and swim toward shore. Kurdi said he tried to take control of the boat, but it capsized in the rough waters.
"I tried to reach for my wife and children," he said. "I was in the water for 20 minutes. One person after another was dying."
Trying to get to Canada
Abdullah Kurdi's sister had filed refugee paperwork to obtain permission for her family to live in Canada, but the application was rejected in June.
But Tima Kurdi, who lives in Vancouver, said the paperwork was for a different brother. The Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada confirmed Thursday it never received an application for Abdullah.
Tima Kurdi said she knew of her brother's plans to make the dangerous voyage.
More than 350,000 people have arrived in Europe so far this year, seeking sanctuary from war, persecution or poverty.
Their arrival has sparked support in some areas across Europe and backlash in others.
Foreign Ministers Paolo Gentiloni of Italy, FrankWalter Steinmeier of Germany and Laurent Fabius of France have presented the European Union with a joint document calling for a revision of asylum rules and a fairer distribution of refugees. No specifics have been provided.
"These people are forced to go on boats, they pay 4,000 or 5,000 euros and they die in these desperate circumstances," said Antonio Guterres, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees. "This doesn't make sense. We need to have a coherent response to this situation ... only Europe as a whole, based on solidarity, can give that response."
Aylan's photo has sparked criticism of Europe for not doing enough to help the refugees and migrants escaping from Africa and the Middle East.