The images of a child, identified as three-year-old Aylan Kurdi by Turkey’s DHA news agency, have become the top trending topic on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
“It put a human face on the dangers faced by tens of thousands of desperate people who risk life and limb to seek a new life in Europe,” Good Morning Turkey website said.
According to itv.com, Aylan was among 23 people who had set off in two boats headed for the Greek island of Kos.
Aylan’s five-year-old brother and mother are also reported to have died while trying to cross the Mediterranean.
“Tiny victim of a human catastrophe,” said Britain’s Daily Mail, while Italy’s La Repubblica tweeted: “One photo to silence the world.”
“If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed-up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?” — the Independent reported.
According to a report, Aylan’s family sought refuge in Canada but their application was turned down by immigration authorities.
The children’s aunt, Teema Kurdi, told the Ottawa Citizen that after the family fled from the war-torn border town of Kobani, which was overrun by the Islamic State last year, the United Nations would not register them as refugees and the Turkish government would not grant them exit visas.
“I was trying to sponsor them, and I have my friends and my neighbours who helped me with the bank deposits, but we couldn’t get them out,” she was quoted as saying in the Ottawa Citizen report.
According to reports, more than 2,000 refugees have died crossing the Mediterranean this year. But several European countries, including Britain, have refused to accept proposed quotas of asylum seekers.