Turkey: Traffickers behind toddler death get 125 years

3 former fugitives sentenced for role in death of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi, whose lifeless body washed up on beach in 2015

Eren Bozkurt   | 13.03.2020
Turkey: Traffickers behind toddler death get 125 years

ADANA, Turkey 

Three organizers of the human trafficking ring which led to the death of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi, in a case which made headlines worldwide, were sentenced in Turkey Friday to 125 years in prison each.

The 2015 death of 3-year-old Kurdi, and five other refugees who shared a boat on the Aegean with him, shocked the international community and came to symbolize the plight of desperate Syrian refugees.

The traffickers, fugitives from justice, had been captured by Turkish security forces this week in the southern province of Adana.

The lifeless body of Kurdi ­– one of 14 Syrian refugees, including eight children, who took a boat on the Aegean to reach Greek islands – washed up on a beach near the Turkish resort of Bodrum, in Turkey's Aegean Mugla province, after their boat sank.

A number of Syrian and Turkish defendants were found responsible for the accident and got prison sentences, but the three defendants sentenced today had fled during the trial.

The Bodrum High Criminal Court in Mugla sentenced the defendants for the crime of "killing with eventual intent."

Turkey’s Aegean provinces – Canakkale, Balikesir, Izmir, Mugla and Aydin – are prime spots for refugees leaving for the EU, with many Greek islands lying within sight of the Turkish coast.

Due to the Syrian civil war, hundreds of thousands have made short but perilous journeys in a bid to reach northern and western Europe in search of a better life.

A large number of people have died due to those journeys.

*Writing by Fahri Aksut

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