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Turkey jails Syrian human smugglers over Aylan Kurdi death

© DOGAN NEWS AGENCY / AFP | A Turkish police officer carries Aylan's lifeless body near Bodrum, in southern Turkey, on September 2, 2015

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-03-04

A Turkish court on Friday sentenced two Syrians to four years in jail over the September 2015 drowning death of toddler Aylan Kurdi, whose image sparked global sympathy over the fate of migrants, Dogan news agency said.

Three-year-old Aylan, whose body washed up on a beach in southwest Turkey, drowned as his Syrian family was trying to reach Greece by boat.

Aylan's brother, Galip, and mother, Rihan, were also among five victims who lost their lives last year when their boat went down during the ill-fated journey from Bodrum to the Greek island of Kos.

The two Syrians were each sentenced to four years and two months in jail for smuggling, Dogan reported. They were acquitted of a charge of causing death through conscious neglect.

Since Aylan's death, the European Union has faced a growing crisis over how to deal with hundreds of thousands of migrants from Syria and elsewhere, a crisis that threatens to tear the 28-nation bloc apart.

EU Council President Donald Tusk was visiting Turkey on Friday to press for closer cooperation in dealing with the migrants ahead of an EU summit on Monday.

Praised for taking in some 2.5 million refugees from Syria's five-year civil war, Turkey – a candidate for EU membership – is under pressure to stop migrants making perilous onward journeys to Europe.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Date created : 2016-03-04

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