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‘My kids were the most beautiful children in the world’

The photo of Aylan’s lifeless body washed ashore in Turkey has made front pages around the world.

Updated: 8.45pm

THE LAST PHOTO taken of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old toddler who is on the front pages around the world today, is of his lifeless body washed ashore on a Turkish beach.

Wearing a red T-shirt and blue shorts, Aylan is believed to be one of least 12 Syrians who died when their boat, overloaded with passengers, sank in an attempt to reach Greece.

Aylan, named by Turkish media, is reportedly from the town of Kobani in Syria, which has seen heavy fighting between Islamic State militants and Kurdish forces. 

He was travelling with his family on the tiny boat built for four people, however it was carrying 15 refugees. 

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The UK’s Independent reports that Aylan died alongside his five-year-old brother, Galip, and their mother, Rihan after the boat overturned in the middle of the night.

“The boat sank around 4am (1am GMT), close to the lighthouse in the Akyarlar region,” a rescue worker said.

Most probably they were panicked and many didn’t know how to swim.

They were making the voyage from Turkey to the Greek island of Kos.

The boys’ father, Abdullah, survived.

He told Associated Press he wanted one thing and one thing only: to sit by the graves of his wife and children.

My kids were the most beautiful children in the world, wonderful. They wake me up every morning to play with them. They are all gone now.The waves were so high and the boat flipped. I took my wife and my kids in my arms and I realised they were all dead.

The distraught father, who worked as a barber in Syria, added: “All I want is to be with my children at the moment.”

I want the whole world to see. We went through a disaster and I don’t want other people to suffer the same.

In total, twelve people died, five of whom were children, including the two brothers. Another 15 people were rescued.

Family

The family of Aylan said they were making a final, desperate attempt to flee to relatives in Canada even though their asylum application had been rejected, reports The Guardian.

Speaking to Canadian press on Wednesday night, the family said Abdullah Kurdi had phoned them to tell them his wife and sons were dead.

He now wants to return to their Kurdish hometown of Kobani to bury his family.

Photos of happier times between the two brothers have emerged, showing Aylan and Galip laughing while holding a teddy bear.

ind Source: Aylan Humanitude/YouTube

The boy’s aunt Teema Kurdi, who emigrated to Canada over 20 years ago, told The National Post that she was trying to sponsor them.

I have my friends and my neighbours who helped me with the bank deposits, but we couldn’t get them out, and that is why they went in the boat.I was even paying rent for them in Turkey, but it is horrible the way they treat Syrians there.

She said she had privately sponsored a refugee application for the family to come and join her in Canada, but the application had been rejected.

The heart-rending pictures of a Aylan’s lifeless body has sparked horror today as the cost of Europe’s growing refugee crisis hits home.

Minister Brendan Howlin has indicated that Ireland will take in more than its allocated 600 people.

Minister Coveney is meeting with his EU colleagues today at the Informal Ministerial meeting in Luxembourg to discuss a range of issues including progress of the EU military mission in the Mediterranean.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is expected to discuss the migrant crisis with French President Francois Hollande as he begins a two day visit to Paris today.

Additional reporting from AFP, AP and Órla Ryan

Read: Passengers told to listen for ‘walking on roof’ as migrants cause Channel Tunnel chaos

Poll: Should every town in Ireland take in 10 refugee families? >

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