Syria: Aylan Kurdi's father asks world to open doors

Syria: Aylan Kurdi's father asks world to open doors
2 min read
23 December, 2015
The father of Aylan Kurdi, the toddler whose washed up body became a global symbol of suffering, has asked the world to open its doors to Syrian refugees.
Abdullah Kurdi has asked the world to open its doors for Syrian refugees [Anadolu]

The father of three-year old Aylan Kurdi, whose lifeless body washed up on a Turkish beach and became a symbol of the global refugee crisis, has asked the world to open its doors to Syrians fleeing conflict.

"My message is I'd like the whole world to open its doors to Syrians," Abdullah Kurdi says in a video message to be broadcast on Christmas Day.

"If a person shuts a door in someone's face, this is very difficult."

"When a door is opened they no longer feel humiliated," he says according to a transcript released by Britain's Channel 4.

The toddler died after his family, sheltering in Turkey from the war in Syria, decided to make a desperate bid to reach Greece from Turkey in a flimsy inflatable boat.

The father also lost his wife Rehana and Aylan's four-year-old brother Ghaleb after they drowned on the same day.

Shocking news images of the toddler face down on the shore helped spur European nations to seek an effective response to the growing migrant crisis.

Shortly after the tragic incident, Kurdi told Egyptian media that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered to give him Turkish nationality.

However, Kurdi declined the Turkish offer.

"[Erdogan] offered to give me Turkish nationality, which I'd accept because the Turkish government has done for me what no one else has," he said at the time.

"I'm honoured but I'm not going to accept the offer at this time," said Kurdi.

Kurdi also declined an offer from the Canadian government for citizenship in the aftermath of the tragic events.