Refugee Children Washing Ashore in Turkey

refugee children

A Turkish police officer stands next to the body of 3yr old Aylan Kurdi who washed ashore in September – Photograph: Reuters

30% of all the refugees who have died this year trying to cross the Mediterranean were children, 5% of them babies under two years, Unicef reported.

In October alone, 90 children died crossing the sea in their attempt to reach Europe, including 5 under two years old. The number of refugees saved after making failed attempts to cross via the sea from Turkey into Europe has increased by over 500 percent in 2015 compared to last year.

The arrival of minors has not decreased as the temperatures have fallen, but increased, for example, in June one in 10 refugees arriving to the European continent were children, in October this figure rose to one in three.

Today the Turkish news outlet Hurriyett Daily reports that seven refugee children were found dead on Turkey’s western coast. The dead body of a five-year-old refugee girl has washed up on a beach in the Aegean province of İzmir, the latest of what now appears to be a series of refugee children deaths, while six other refugees were also found dead after an inflatable boat capsized off İzmir’s Çeşme district.

The body of Sajida Ali, a 5-year-old refugee girl, washed up on the Pırlanta Beach in Çeşme on Dec. 7, just a few months after the images of the lifeless body of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi, who washed ashore in the Turkish resort town of Bodrum in early September, sent shockwaves throughout the world.

Ali’s body was taken to the İzmir Forensic Institute for medical examination after local gendarmerie forces stated the girl purportedly drowned in a failed attempt to cross into Greek islands with his family.
In a separate incident, six migrants drowned in the Aegean Sea after an inflatable migrant boat capsized off Çeşme early Dec. 8.

Turkish Coast Guard Command forces rescued eight other refugees and the bodies of the six were taken to the İzmir Forensic Institute.

Video of Turkish fisherman rescuing a floating 18-month-old refugee in Aegean Sea in October 2015.

Geographically located between war-torn Syria and Iraq in the southeast and the European Union member states of Bulgaria and Greece in the northwest, Turkey has come to be a transition point for foreign refugees looking to cross into the EU in an endeavor to flee the violence in Iraq and Syria, as well as have a higher standard of living.

The wave of migration across the Aegean Sea, however, has sometimes resulted in injuries and even deaths due to either the capsizing of refugee-carrying boats or abuse of refugees by human traffickers.

In 2014, the number of refugees rescued by Turkey’s coast guard and local institutions was 14,961, in 574 separate incidents, according to Prime Ministry figures.

So far this year, the number is 79,489 refugees in 2,133 incidents. In addition, more than 200 smuggling gangs have been targeted in security operations launched by the authorities over the last two years.

Related links
Heartbreaking Images of Drowned Refugee Boy Requires Humanity Take Action
Turkish fishermen rescue a floating 18-month-old refugee in Aegean Sea

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