An image of a drowned toddler washed up on the beach in one of Turkey's prime tourist resorts swept across social media on Wednesday, after at least 11 people, presumed to be Syrian refugees, died trying to reach the Greek island of Kos.
The picture showed a little boy wearing a bright red t-shirt and shorts lying face-down in the surf on a beach near the resort town of Bodrum. In a second image, a grim-faced policeman carries the tiny body away.
Turkish media identified the boy as 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, whose 5-year-old brother, Galip, died on the same boat. The Kurdi boys were originally from the Kurdish-Syrian city of Kobane, a center of Syria's battle with fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Canadian legislator Fin Donnelly told The Vancouver Sun that Teema Kurdi, a relative of the children, had sought to sponsor them and their mother but that her request was turned down by Canadian immigration officials.
Donnelly said the woman tried to sponsor her nephews Aylan and Galip, and their mother, Rehan, all three of whom drowned.
The hashtag “KiyiyaVuranInsanlik” — "humanity washed ashore" — became the top trending topic on Twitter after the picture was retweeted heavily.
The two boats, carrying a total of 23 people, had set off separately from the Akyarlar area of the Bodrum peninsula, a senior Turkish naval official said.
The confirmed dead included five children and one woman. Seven people were rescued, and two reached the shore in lifejackets. The official said hopes of saving the two people still missing were fading.