The drowned child washed up on a Turkish beach captured in a photograph that went around the world Wednesday was three-year-old Aylan Kurdi. He died, along with his five-year-old brother Galip and their mother Rehan, in a desperate attempt to reach Canada.
The Syrian-Kurds from Kobane died along with eight other refugees early Wednesday. The father of the two boys, Abdullah, survived. …
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander could not be reached for comment, but Port Moody – Coquitlam NDP MP Fin Donnelly said he’d hand-delivered the Kurdis’ file to Alexander earlier this year.
Alexander said he’d look into it, Donnelly said, but the Kurdis’ application was rejected in June.
“This is horrific and heartbreaking news,” Donnelly said. “The frustration of waiting and the inaction has been terrible.”
The family had two strikes against it — like thousands of other Syrian-Kurdish refugees in Turkey, the United Nations would not register them as refugees, and the Turkish government would not grant them exit visas. …
Canada and Turkey have long been at loggerheads over the bottleneck blocking Syrian refugees in Turkey from finding their way to Canada. It is not uncommon for Kurds in Syria to be arbitrarily denied passports, and to have great difficulty registering as refugees with the UNHCR. The Turkish government refuses to issue exit visas to unregistered refugees not holding valid passports.