Really sorry Aylan Kurdi

I sincerely apologise Aylan, but we shall forget you too.

You, your brother Ghaleb, your mum.

We shall forget you all.

We human beings are like that.

We forget all too easily.

We have forgotten many children before you.


Do you remember those poor people who met a horrible death

in an airless truck the other week?

There were four children among them, one a baby.

They have already been forgotten.

Their names were  even been published.

At least I haven’t heard that they have.

They remain nameless.


Like we have forgotten those kids murdered in wars, raped, enslaved,

forced to live in unimaginable circumstances in refugee camps,

we shall forget you too.


Tears we spill for you will dry all too soon.


We shall say “life goes on” and;

We’ll watch silly programmes on our 50 inch TV sets.

Like The X Factor.

Aylan Kurdi (L) with his older brother Galip, both killed when their boat capsized off the coast of Bodrum
Aylan Kurdi (L) with his older brother Galip, both killed when their boat capsized off the coast of Bodrum


We’ll post holiday snaps on Facebook and show off, share silly anecdotes.

We’ll have a Thai massage in 5-star hotels and relax.

Do you know that beach your lifeless, sad body was found?

The Aspat Bay. These hotels are only a stones-throw from there.


We’ll have meaningless theoretical discussions,

to prove how intellectual we are.

We’ll rush to football grounds to watch matches.

We’ll cheer millionaire football stars.

We’ll deliriously celebrate goals scored.

Do you know what some of these footballers are planning to do Aylan?

They’ll each walk on the pitch holding a refugee child’s hand.


Aylan, don’t read too much into the fact that your sad photo shocked the world.

In a few days those papers, glossy magazines,

will be full of titbits about film stars and galacticos.

Who did what, with whom.


Our Prime Minister has agreed too let in a few thousand more refugees.

Hooray! I know. Its too late for you.

Anyway, you and your family would not have benefitted from this.


We’ll be marching on 10 Downing Street on Saturday, 12 September.

To tell Cameron what we think of him. After that?…


Before I forget dear Aylan,

Canada is willing to grant your dad asylum.

They said he can go and live there.

I hope he will seek out their ambassador in some land and spit at his face.


I am truly sorry Aylan.

We human beings are like that.

We forget far too easily.

I am afraid, we will forget you too.

Ertanc Hidayettin headshotT-VINE columnist Ertanch Hidayettin is a Cypriot Turk of African heritage who came to the UK in 1970. A qualified teacher he chose to pursue a career in local government, working for local authorities in a variety of posts including as an Equality Officer for Islington Council, before retiring in 2007. Since then he has worked with the National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education (NRCSE). He is a community activist and a commentator in Turkish and Cypriot media.