Migrant surge haunts memories for Kurdi's father

It was the photo that brought home the human toll of the Syrian conflict.

A toddler, soaking wet and fully clothed in a red t-shirt and blue shorts, lying face down on the shore of a beach beach near the resort town of Bodrum.

That was 2015. The shocking image of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi's lifeless body drew attention to the dangerous journey many Syrians took to flee the civil war.

Now it's 2020 -- a new wave of migrants and refugees -- and the first deaths include another drowned boy, reportedly age 6.

Kurdi's father Abdullah says it's bringing back haunting memories.


"The whole world focused on this photo. Europe started caring about refugees and opened its doors, but unfortunately it was for a very short time, maybe for a month or two, and then they closed the doors again."

Abdullah spoke to us in Erbil, Iraq, where he now lives.

Back then, the image of his son went viral on social media and put pressure on European leaders.

In 2016, Turkey reached a deal with the European Union to keep refugees from crossing the border, in return for billions of euros in aid.

Since then the number of Syrian refugees on Turkish soil has grown to 3.6 million.

Renewed fighting in northern Syria has forced more people to flee. Turkey says it just can't take anymore.


"The community, not the government, do not treat them well. They used to like them (Syrians), but since the wars and what not, they tell them 'you go fight in Syria. Why are you here while our children are dying?'"

While European leaders are desperate to avoid a repeat of the 2015-16 crisis, a man who survived it but lost his wife and children along the way, simply hopes that the world will open its doors to those in need.