Human smuggler involved in Aylan’s death detained in Turkey

Human smuggler involved in Aylan’s death detained in Turkey

MUĞLA – Anadolu Agency
Human smuggler involved in Aylan’s death detained in Turkey

DHA Photo

A suspect was detained on Sept. 6 over his alleged human smuggling role in the ill-fated sea journey that resulted in the death of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, whose drowning in Bodrum last week drew worldwide attention to the scale of refugee suffering.

The suspect, a Turkish national identified as C.P., was taken into custody in the southwestern resort town of Bodrum in an operation late Sept. 6, according to security sources.

The suspect accused of “migrant smuggling and causing death with intention” will be sent to court on Sept. 7.

Four Syrian suspects were also arrested on Sept. 4 in another police operation conducted to find human smugglers in relation to the Bodrum refugee tragedy.

On Sept. 2, 12 people, including eight children, drowned after their boat sank off Bodrum in Aegean Sea heading to the Greek island of Kos. The images of the lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi, washed ashore in Bodrum, sparked a wave of emotion in Turkey and across Europe. The boy’s mother and older brother, Galip Kurdi, also perished in the incident.

Abdullah Kurdi, the father of Aylan and Galip, returned on Sept. 4 to Syria to bury them and his wife in the ravaged border town of Kobane, which was largely destroyed by bitter fighting between Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Kurdish militants last year.

The nocturnal crossing, from Bodrum, is just one perilous leg of a journey for which smugglers charge thousands of dollars.

The aunt of the drowned Syrian boy, Tima Kurdi, who now lives in Canada, said she sent Abdullah $5,000 to pay smugglers to take them in a boat.                                      

She said the trip was the “only option” left for the family to have a better life in a European country, possibly Germany or Sweden.

Abdullah knew of the dangers, including the risk of smugglers using fake life-jackets, she said, adding that he had planned to pay 2,000 euros each for him and his wife to board a safer jet boat, compared to 1,200 euros for a rubber boat. There was no fee for the two boys.