Turkish couple reunited with Syrian refugee who rescued them from earthquake rubble

A Turkish couple in the country’s eastern province of Elazığ on Sunday were reunited with the Syrian refugee who saved them for the rubble of Friday’s earthquake.

There were both smiles and tears during the meeting between Elazığ residents Dürdane and Zülküf Aydın and Syrian university student Mahmud el Osman, state-run Andolu news agency reported.

Dürdane and Zülküf are among the 45 people rescued from a 6.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked Elazığ on Friday, killing 35people and leaving over 1,400 injured, according to official figures on Sunday.

Dürdane had vowed to find the young man, whose first name and eyes had become etched into her memory as he dug to save her and husband buried under the rubble of their building in the neighbourhood of Sürsürü.

"When the earthquake happened I went to the area where buildings had been destroyed,’’ Osman said as he recounted the evening of the earthquake.

"I heard people’s voices. I heard a woman and her husband, so began removing debris and digging with my hands. Then youngsters from the area started working with me. I first took out the man and then I tried to remove the pieces on top of the woman. I was able to free her legs, too, and set her free.  Emergency teams took them to the hospital.’’   

When we were buried beneath the rubble, we stopped believing we would be saved, said Dürdane Aydın.

Soon Osman, a Syrian refugee from the town of Hama who arrived in Elazığ two years ago, appeared with a flashlight.

The reunion between the three happened after Osman spoke to the local Anadolu agency office requesting to find and meet the couple. 

"His hands were covered in blood while trying to save us, but he was only concerned for our well being, ’’ Dürdane said. "He is our hero. I am his sister and mother now. There is no way I am ever letting him go''.