Wednesday 20 September 2017

Robert Fisk: 'We have forsaken Aylan... and the burning cities he left behind'

The body of Aylan Kurdi lies washed up on a Turkish beach last year. Photo: Associated Press
The body of Aylan Kurdi lies washed up on a Turkish beach last year. Photo: Associated Press

Robert Fisk

The body of Aylan Kurdi has gone beyond the 'iconic'.

Being small and dressed like a little European boy, and being white rather than brown-skinned, his very name posthumously and subtly shifting to the homely English 'Alan', the son of the Kurdish refugee family fleeing across the Mediterranean from Turkey to Europe became 'our' child.

The moment his tiny body washed up on the beach near Bodrum and appeared on front pages around the world, the closet racism of our politicians was briefly stilled. What stone heart could condemn this little boy as part of a 'swarm', a word used about the occupants of the Calais camp by a former British prime minister?

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