Fact Check

Does Photo Show Baby Rescued 128 Hours After Earthquake in Turkey?

A picture of a bruised baby being cared for was shared on social media with conflicting information. Here are the facts.

Published Feb 16, 2023

A photo shows a baby girl who was rescued from under rubble between around 128 and 130 hours after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Turkey and Syria on Feb. 6, 2023.

Following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Feb. 6, 2023, social media users shared a picture that purportedly showed a baby who had been rescued from under rubble after between 128 and 130 hours (just over five days).

The devastating quake resulted in a massive death toll that was expected to continue to rise. As of Feb. 16, The Associated Press said that 39,875 people in Turkey and Syria were already reported as having died as a result of the disaster.

As for the photo of the baby, one of the most popular tweets that we could find read, "He fought for life for 128 hours and is rescued alive. What a battle!"

We found more posts that featured the photo on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. One very popular post on Reddit received a little over 100,000 points, and read, "Turkish baby saved after 130 hours under the rubble."

According to the German news website Bild.de, this rescue story was true. Journalist and photographer Hamdi Gökbulut reported that he "was allowed to visit the miracle girl in Adana hospital."

While some social media posts claimed that the baby was a boy, Gökbulut reported that the child was a two-month-old girl.

She was found on Feb. 11 under piles of rubble in İskenderun, a city in Hatay Province along the Mediterranean coast of Turkey.

The baby girl received cheers from rescuers and bystanders after she was pulled out from the spot she had spent more than five days without food or water.

At the time we published this fact check, her parents have not yet been located and were believed to also have been buried under rubble. The child was referred to as being "nameless," at least for the time being.

A video was posted that showed the baby girl being driven to the hospital.


A second video also showed the child after she had been cared for, according to Anil Kumar Verma, a reporter for NewsNation.

A third video appeared to record the same baby being pulled from rubble. However, as of this writing, we have not yet been able to determine whether or not this shows the same child from the same quake that hit Turkey in early 2023. Still, readers will likely find that the important thing was that she was rescued and was believed to be in good health.

Gökbulut added in the reporting from Bild that a midwife named Merve had been taking care of the baby girl. A photo of her holding the child was captioned as, "The motherly love of a woman who has no children yet: midwife Merve takes care of the rescued baby."

"I take care of this child as if it were my own!," Merve told Gökbulut.

Further reporting from Bild journalist Kevin Hildebrand documented other cases of children who had been rescued following the same quake.


Gokbulut, Hamdi. "Gerettet nach Erdbeben in der Türkei: "Ich achte auf dieses Baby, als wäre es mein eigenes!"." Bild.de, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.bild.de/news/ausland/news-ausland/nach-128-stunden-gerettet-ich-achte-auf-dieses-baby-als-waere-es-mein-eigenes-82891658.bild.html.

Hildebrand, Kevin. "Erdbeben aktuell: Baby nach 128 Stunden in der Türkei geborgen." Bild.de, 12 Feb. 2023, https://www.bild.de/news/ausland/news-ausland/erdbeben-aktuell-baby-nach-128-stunden-in-der-tuerkei-geborgen-82872254.bild.html.

"İskenderun." Wikiwand, https://wikiwand.com/en/Iskenderun.

Titova, Tanya, and Suzan Fraser. "Key Developments in the Aftermath of Turkey, Syria Quakes." The Associated Press, 16 Feb. 2023, https://apnews.com/article/2023-turkey-syria-earthquake-istanbul-earthquakes-3ea8e5daa7dea3e63dd7cfdb826e3a17.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.