Watch: Tearful moment father, who lost wife and son in Turkey quake, reunites with 4-year-old daughter

"I swear I didn't leave you, my child", the man keeps repeating in the video, as he plants kisses on his sobbing daughter's cheeks

By Web Desk

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Published: Wed 15 Feb 2023, 6:05 PM

Days after a series of cataclysmic earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria, a particularly heartfelt video showing a reunion between a grieving father and his distressed child has been circulating the Internet for its stunning display of human emotion.

The footage, posted by state-run news agency Anadolu Agency, shows the touching moment the distraught father drops to his knees and embraces his daughter. The child, led into the room by a woman, immediately bursts into tears upon seeing her father, clinging to him as he wraps her in a tight hug.

"I swear I didn't leave you, my child", the man keeps repeating, as he plants kisses on his sobbing daughter's cheeks.

According to Anadolu Agency, Ahmed Ayan lost his wife and son in the earthquakes. He and his daughter, 4-year-old Ghada, were trapped under the rubble of their collapsed home, before being rescued in the city of Antioch, capital of southern Turkish province Hatay – an area particularly hard-hit by one of the deadliest tremors in the country's modern history.

The father and daughter were hospitalised and treated at two different centres, following which Ayan began the search for his daughter. Meanwhile, Ghada had been transferred by the Ministry of Family and Social Services to a care centre in Hatay, as no members of her family could be located.

The video takes place in the care centre, and shows the moment Ayan is reunited with his child – a burst of hope amidst the devastating loss of his wife, Zilal Karazon, and his 7-year-old son Nihad.

Turkey and Syria were besieged by a series of catastrophic earthquakes on February 6, with the death toll from the disaster climbing above 35,000 on Monday, and search and rescue teams starting to wind down their work.

UN relief chief Martin Griffiths estimates that this toll may top 50,000, noting that it was difficult to estimate precisely the number of deceased that are still trapped under the rubble. 20 million people have been impacted by the earthquake, the country's President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has said, and the damage has extended to a 500-km-wide region in 10 provinces inhabited by 13.5 million people.


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