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Turkish court jails smugglers in death of iconic Syrian toddler

Two Syrians have been convicted of smuggling migrants between Turkey and Greece. The trial centers on the death of five migrants including three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, who has become a symbol of the humanitarian crisis.

Two Syrian nationals were sentenced Friday to four years and two months in jail for smuggling, Dogan news agency reported. They were acquitted of a charge of causing death through deliberate neglect.

Defendants Muwafaka Alabash and Asem Alfrhad denied any responsibility in the migrants' deaths and testified that the dead boy's father, Abdullah Kurdi, was responsible for organizing the ill-fated trip to the Greek island of Kos.

Aylan Kurdi lying dead in a Turkish officer's arms.

The image of Aylan Kurdi's lifeless body cradled in a Turkish gendarmes' arms on a Turkish beach galvanized global attention on the refugee crisis

A photo that moved the world's conscience

Trials in Turkey can take months - even years - to conclude, but this verdict, which came just a month after the trial opened, appeared to be an effort by the country to show that it is cracking down on smugglers, days before a March 7 summit between Turkey and the European Union to discuss the migrant crisis.

Turkey is scheduled to receive 3 billion euros ($3.26 billion) to help the country deal with its 2.7 million Syrian refugees.

Watch video 02:44

Turkish coast guard cracks down on smugglers

jar/kms (AP, Reuters)

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