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Two Months After Syrian Boy's Death, Two More Die A Day

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Libération, Nov. 5, 2015

"Everyday, two Aylans," French daily Libération writes on Thursday's front page, which also features a photograph of the body of a yet-to-be-identified 10-year-old Afghan boy washed up on a beach of the Greek island of Lesbos, off the coast of Turkey. The picture and headline both echo the similar drowning death of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi whose body was found on Turkey's shores two months ago.

According to the newspaper, more than 108 children and infants have drowned in the Aegean Sea since the world was shocked by the photograph of a lifeless Kurdi, a Syrian, on Sept. 2.

At the time, Libération — and with it, the majority of French newspapers — came under fire for choosing not to run the photograph of the drowned child, a picture that made global headlines and quickly became a heartbreaking symbol of the Syrian refugee crisis.

More than 700,000 refugees and migrants have reached Europe's Mediterranean shores so far this year, according to the UN refugee agency.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Turkey-Israel Relations? It's Complicated — But The Gaza War Is Different

Turkish President Erdogan has now called on the International Criminal Court to go after Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for war crimes, as the clash between the two regional powers has reached a new low.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Elias Kassem

Since the arrival two decades ago of now President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s relationship with Israel has been a mix of deep ideological conflict and cover-your-eyes realpolitik .

On the one hand, Erdogan has positioned himself as a kind of global spokesman for the Palestinian cause . His Justice and Development Party has long publicly and financially supported Hamas, which shares similar roots in the 20th-century Muslim Brotherhood movement.

And yet, since 2001 when Erdogan first came to power, trade between Turkey and Israel has multiplied from $1.41 to $8.9 billion in 2022. Moreover, both countries see major potential in transporting newly discovered Israeli natural gas to Europe, via Turkey.

The logic of shared interests clashes with the passions and posturing of high-stakes geopolitics. Diplomatic relations have been cut off, then restored, and since October 7, the countries’ respective ambassadors have been recalled, with accusations flying between Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Still, over the past 48 hours, Turkish-Israeli relations may have hit an all-time low.

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