Two jailed in connection with death of Aylan Kurdi

Friday 04 March 2016 22.25
A vigil in Melbourne for Aylan Kurdi and the other victims of the drowning
A vigil in Melbourne for Aylan Kurdi and the other victims of the drowning

A Turkish court has sentenced two Syrians to four years in prison over the drowning of five people including toddler Aylan Kurdi.

Images of Aylan’s dead body washed up on a beach in southwest Turkey sparked global sympathy last September over the fate of refugees and migrants.

The three-year-old, who was among a group of refugees trying to reach Greece by boat, drowned along with his mother and brother.             

The two Syrians were each sentenced to four years and two months in jail for smuggling, Dogan news agency has reported.

They were acquitted of a charge of causing death through conscious neglect.             

Since Aylan's death, the European Union has faced a growing crisis over how to deal with hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees from Syria and elsewhere, a crisis that threatens to tear the 28-nation bloc apart.             

EU Council President Donald Tusk is visiting Turkey to press for closer cooperation in dealing with the migrants ahead of an EU summit on Monday.   

Praised for taking in 2.5 million refugees from Syria's five-year civil war, Turkey - a candidate for EU membership - is under pressure to stop refugees making perilous onward journeys to Europe.