Two people smugglers jailed over drowned toddler Aylan Kurdi

Three-year-old's death last year shocked the world; his tiny corpse washed ashore in Turkey

Newstalk, migrant, refugee, Aylan Kurdi, Syria, Greece, Turkey

Photo: Dogan News Agency

Updated 10.50

A court in Turkey has jailed two Syrians over the drowning of toddler Aylan Kurdi in September last year.

The two smugglers have been sentenced to four years and two months each, following the death of the three-year-old and four other people when their ship capsized as they fled from Syria.

A court convicted Muwafaka Alabash and Asem Alfrhad of human trafficking, but acquitted them of the charge of causing the deaths through deliberate negligence.

Had the two smugglers been convicted of causing their deaths, they would have faced up to 35 years in prison.

Aylan's brother, Galip, and mother, Rihan, were among the five victims who died - but it was the photograph of Aylan's lifeless body washed up on the beach that shocked the world.

The boy's father, Abdullah, survived and has returned to Syria.

Their boat went down on an ill-fated journey from Bodrum to the Greek island of Kos.

The family had been fleeing Syria, which has suffered for more than four years under a civil war leaving around 250,000 dead.

They were hoping to eventually reach Canada to live with family there.

Fast-tracked trial

Trials in Turkey are usually very lengthy, but the verdict in this case arrived just a month after the trial opened.

Next week a summit takes place between Turkey and the European Union to discuss the migrant crisis.

Turkey is under pressure to reduce the flow of migrants to Europe and to combat smuggling rings.

At the time, the Turkish official who found Aylan said at the time that he had prayed on the beach with the boy's father.