Refugees drown on their way to Kos
The image of a drowned little boy who was washed up on a beach on Turkey's Bodrum Peninsula was spread on the social media on Wednesday. The boy and at least ten other people drowned while trying to reach the Greek island of Kos by boat. The photo is a brutal testimony to the failure of the EU in the refugee crisis, some journalists write. Others hold Turkey partially responsible for the child's death.
Europe's collective shame
Deeply shocked at the scenes from a beach near the Turkish resort of Bodrum, the liberal conservative daily Diário de Notícias voices its anger: "The lifeless body of the little boy lies in the sand until it is lifted and carried away by a police officer. At this stage we can simply no longer tolerate the brutality, repulsiveness and indifference: our individual and collective shame, the politicians who call for calm amidst such tragedy, making themselves accomplices in doing so. We won't forget this accursed beach so quickly, which could just as easily have been in Greece, Italy or Portugal. … It is happening here on our doorstep. Children, women and men are dying every day in the Mediterranean - and that can only increase the anger at Europe's senseless policies. This crisis has been going on for over a year and nothing, or very little, has been done either on this or the other side of the border."
Turkey also to blame for refugee drama
The photo of the dead three-year-old Aylan should be a wake-up call for Turkey, the liberal online paper T24 urges: "All these refugees wanted was a better life for their children. But that's not what they got in Turkey. They were rented flats at twice the normal price, they were forced to send their children to work so they could get enough to eat, and their women were obliged to work as prostitutes. The Syrians have been living in this country for four years without any legal security, their work and their bodies are abused, they're subjected to racism, discrimination and harassment. And because Turkey benefits from this situation in every way, no one says a word. ... We lost Aylan, but we can at least prevent more Syrian children from drowning in the Mediterranean. By showing solidarity and resisting the oppression that they are subjected to. And by giving them a permanent status that will allow them to live in our country like human beings."
Don't avert your eyes from misery
The image of the dead boy whose body was washed up on a beach on Turkey's Bodrum Peninsula has gone viral on the social media. Mario Calabresi, editor-in-chief of the liberal daily La Stampa, defends his decision to publish it on the front page: "Not showing you this picture would have meant turning a blind eye and pretending nothing had happened. Not publishing it would only have meant pulling the wool over our own eyes and prolonging our ignorance by another day. That's why I changed my mind. Respect for this child, who together with his parents, brothers and sisters fled a war that is being waged on our very doorstep, demands that we should all realise what is going on. It demands that each and every one of us should stop for a moment and take stock of what is happening on the beaches where we spent our holidays. After that you can go on with your lives, perhaps outraged at my decision, but no longer ignorant of the situation."
Face up to true scale of the crisis
A special EU summit is necessary, the centre-left daily El País demands with an eye to the images of the dead refugee child on the Turkish coast: "First of all the politicians must recognise the dimensions of this issue and say out loud that the wave of refugees demands new and ambitious solutions. Treatment is not possible without the right diagnosis. It is indispensable to hold a summit at which Europe's leaders - and not just the interior ministers and justice ministers convened for September 14 - assess the situation and take medium and long-term action including economic and geostrategic measures to address the causes of the problem. Europe can find its way and regain some of the legitimacy and global leadership it has lost if it tackles this challenge. This is the only possible solution."