Drowned Toddler Aylan Kurdi, The Heartbreaking Symbol Of Syrian Refugee Plight, Returns Home To Be Laid To Rest

The body of the drowned toddler, whose lifeless image made headlines around the world, was returned home to be buried on Friday.

The grieving father of Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler whose drowning broke hearts and became a symbol of the Syrian refugee plight, returned home with his family to bury them on Friday.

According to NBC News, Abdullah Kurdi, father of the drowned toddler, was captured in a picture taken in Kobani, a Kurdish city in the north of Syria near the border with Turkey, alongside a group of mourners ahead of the funeral.

The burial came two days after a photograph of the drowned toddler’s tiny body was taken. Aylan was pictured in a bright red T-shirt and dark shorts, face-down on a Turkish beach. The image went viral and prompted worldwide outrage at the plight of thousands of desperate refugees.

According to The Week, Aylan was not the only family member to perish that fateful day. His five-year-old brother, Galip, and mother, Rehan, 35, were also among 12 refugees who drowned after two boats capsized en route from Turkey to the Greek island of Kos.

Abdullah, who survived the sinking, reportedly collapsed in grief in the city of Mugla, near Bodrum, where the bodies washed up.

In a related story by The Inquisitr, the family reportedly was denied asylum in Canada prior to the accident. Aylan and his family were desperately trying to emigrate to Canada.

The Times of Israel reported that a Vancouver-area woman had offered to sponsor the Syrian woman and her two children, but her request was denied by the immigration officials, Canadian legislator Fin Donnelly said.

Aylan’s aunt, Teema Kurdi, who emigrated to Vancouver more than 20 years ago, said the family’s “privately funded refugee application had been rejected by Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Department in June,” because the United Nations would not register them as refugees and the Turkish government refused to issue them exit visas.

“I was trying to sponsor them, and I have my friends and my neighbors 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.”

In the end, none of them made it to Canada. Instead, the drowned toddler’s father returned his family to the home from which they were trying to escape — heartbroken and dreams shattered.

[Image via Twitter/The Independent]