Ankara: Even before the picture of Syrian kid Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkey beach went viral, triggering grief and sorrow worldwide, the three-year-old's dead body was first witnessed by a group of Iraqi refugees.
Talking to the Sky News, one such Iraqi refugee recounted the heart-rending moment when he saw the three-year-old's body, partially immersed in seawater on the shore of Bodrum beach.
The refugee said how he wished it to be a toy, but it turned out to be a human child.
“When I saw him I said - Oh my God! it is child. I got closer hoping it was a toy. But I realised it is a child and I started screaming,” he told the Sky News.
“It is better for me to die trying to leave than stay here. There (in Turkey) is no food, they treat us badly,” the refugee added.
Despite having witnessed the tragic fate of Aylan Kurdi from so close, the refugees in Turkey are adamant on leaving for European shores.
Meanwhile, Turkey has ratcheted up efforts to check the migrants who try to cross into Greece. Turkey has increased night patrolling and also, boats used by smugglers to lure the refugees, are being destroyed.
The heartbreaking picture of the three-year-old Aylan has created an unprecedented sensation and awareness among the people and leaders across the globe.
While, earlier the entire situation was enveloped in opaque words like migrant crisis and refugee crisis, Aylan's picture has jolted people and the leaders out of stupor and the donations pouring into the aid agencies have doubled.
Also Hungary, Austria and Germany have agreed to take in refugees despite a massive influx of migrants.