The photo of Turkish Mesut Hancer holding the hand of his 15-year-old daughter Irmak has gone viral around the world.
On the night of February 6, large parts of Turkey and Syria were hit by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake. At least 50,000 people have been confirmed dead, and it is feared that the number could be even higher.
Hanser’s daughter was in her bed in her hometown of Kahramanmaraş in Turkey when the earthquake struck and she died when the building she was in collapsed.
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– Like an angel
A photographer captured the moment the father found his daughter and refused to leave her side. Now, three weeks later, Hanser is speaking publicly about the incident for the first time to Agence France-Presse.
– I couldn’t let go of her hand. Hanser says she slept like an angel in her own bed.
More than 6,000 aftershocks have been recorded since the first strong earthquake, and millions have been left homeless.
The father of four lost many of the people he loved.
– I also lost my mother, brothers and nephews in the earthquake. Hanser tells AFP that burying your child cannot be compared.
It is registered in Norway
It was at my grandmother’s
The father of four was at work when the earthquake struck. He called home as soon as he understood what was going on. The wife replied and said that things were going well with her and their three other children, but that she could not contact her daughter, Yermak.
The 15-year-old daughter spent the night at her grandmother’s house with other family members. And the AFP wrote that Hanser could see from the window at work that the building in which his daughter fell had collapsed.
In the midst of the ruins, he finds his daughter on the bed. He tried to remove the heavy boulders that were lying on top of it, but to no avail.
Then he sat next to her corpse. He didn’t want to leave his daughter’s side.
Hanser told AFP: I took her hand, combed her hair and kissed her cheeks.
Move to the capital
Hanser says he himself asked the photographer to take pictures of them.
When AFP met Hanser, he was in the capital, Ankara, far from his ruined hometown.
The survivor was hosted by a local businessman and his family, the news agency wrote, and the photo, like many, was touched.
Here, Hanser and the surviving family will try to rebuild their lives.
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