A baby in Turkey – who spent 128 hours trapped in the rubble of the country’s devastating earthquake in February – has been reunited with her mother who was previously declared dead, according to Turkey’s Ministry of Family and Social Services.
Three-and-a-half-month-old Vetin Begdas reunited with Yasemin Begdas on Saturday, 54 days after she was rescued from a damaged building in the province of Hatay, Anadolu Agency reported.
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She had been named Gizem (Mystery) by the medical authorities who took care of her after she was rescued.
The country’s Family and Social Services Minister Derya Yanik helped the pair reunite after their relationship was proven through a DNA test.
“One of the most priceless tasks in the world is reuniting a mother with her child,” said Yanik. “Being a part of that happiness meant a lot to us as well.”
54 günlük hasret sona erdi.😊
Enkaz altından 128 saat sonra kurtulan, hemşirelerimizin Gizem Bebek ismini koyduğu Vetin Begdaş 54 gün sonra annesine kavuştu.
Vetin artık bizim de bebeğimiz.
Bakanlık olarak desteğimiz her zaman yanında olacak. pic.twitter.com/66sWKR53z3
— Derya Yanık (@deryayanikashb) April 3, 2023
The minister tweeted a video of the reunion on Monday, wherein the pair are seen cuddling in the hospital bed in Adana where Yasemin Begdas is receiving treatment. Her baby was flown from Ankara, where she too was receiving medical treatment.
“Vetin is now our baby too,” said the minister, adding that the baby will always have the ministry’s support.
Baby “Mystery” had gripped the hearts of many, the photos of her rescue having circulated on social media alongside that of other babies and toddlers rescued in the early days of the earthquake’s rescue efforts.
“The baby is truly a miracle. The fact that she survived and had no health problems pulled at our heartstrings,” Yanik said.
According to Anadolu, the baby’s father and two brothers were killed in the earthquake, which killed more than 50,000 people.
In Turkey alone, more than 44,000 people died, the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) reported in late February. Additionally, more than 20 million people are still affected by the disaster.