Middle East – This picture of Alan Kurdi’s body on the beach is possibly the most famous picture of Syrian refugees on the world wide web. It has come to symbolise why we have to do something about the Syrian problem. No one is sure what – leave the something to the politicals.
But all is not what it seems. For starters the family was fleeing Turkey, not Syria. They had been living in Turkey for three years.
Furthermore is alleged by others on the boat that the boy’s father Abdullah Kurdi, was not a refugee. Rather a people smuggler in charge of the boat.
The facts of the case are these:
- the boat set out in the early hours.
- the boat capsized approx five minutes after setting out.
- approx 5:00 the Turkish authorities started receiving reports of bodies being washed up on Bodrum beach, Turkey
- 6:30 the bodies of Alun Kurdi and two others were found by locals.
- the bodies were moved from the water line to the dry part of the beach.
- Later, Kurdi was photographed face-down on the water’s edge by Nilüfer Demir, a Turkish press photographer.
- 4 witnesses, who were on the boat, reported that Abdullah Kurdi was the captain of the boat from the start.
From this we conclude that:
- the bodies had been in the water between 3 and 6 hours. So
- the famous picture Alun Kurdi was posed by Nilüfer Demir, a Turkish press photographer, for dramatic effect.
This leads us to the answer to the question posed in the title of the article. It is too perfect. Alun Kurdi’s body does not look as if it has been in the water for hours. The clothes are too neat and tidy. The skin has dried out.
Think what your skin is like after a long bath as a reasonable comparison. Blood has not started pooling in his arms and legs. It does not look like rigor mortis has set in either.
Which leads us on to the way that the world’s press published the picture uncritically. Surely every crime reporter would have known that the picture was posed just by looking at it.