ISTANBUL — The smugglers had promised Abdullah Kurdi a motorboat for the trip from Turkey to Greece, a step on the way to a new life in Canada. Instead, they showed up with a 15-foot rubber raft that flipped in high waves, dumping Mr. Kurdi, his wife and their two small sons into the sea.
Mr. Kurdi tried to keep the boys, Aylan and Ghalib, afloat, but one died as he pushed the other to his wife, Rehan, pleading, “Just keep his head above the water!”
Only Mr. Kurdi, 40, survived.
“Now I don’t want anything,” he said a day later, on Thursday, from Mugla, Turkey, after filling out forms at a morgue to claim the bodies of his family. “Even if you give me all the countries in the world, I don’t want them. What was precious is gone.”
It is an image of his youngest son, a lifeless child in a red shirt and dark shorts face down on a Turkish beach, that appears to have galvanized public attention to a crisis that has been building for years.
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