Monday 19 August 2019

Aleppo Twitter girl Bana (7) invited to Erdogan's palace

President Tayyip Erdogan meets with Syrian girl Bana Alabed at the Presidential Palace in Ankara yesterday Picture: Kayhan Ozer/REUTERS
President Tayyip Erdogan meets with Syrian girl Bana Alabed at the Presidential Palace in Ankara yesterday Picture: Kayhan Ozer/REUTERS

Daren Butler

A seven-year-old Syrian girl who drew global attention with her Twitter updates from besieged Aleppo met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at his palace in Ankara yesterday.

Photographs released on Erdogan's official Twitter account showed the president hugging Bana Alabed as she sat on his lap.

Bana and her mother Fatemah were evacuated safely along with 25,000 other people from the rebel-held eastern part of Aleppo this week.

Turkey has supported rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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"I was pleased to host @AlabedBana and her family at the Presidential Complex today. Turkey will always stand with the people of Syria," Erdogan said on his official Twitter account.

Helped by her mother, who runs the Twitter account @AlabedBana, Bana uploaded pictures and videos of life during the nearly six-year-old Syrian war, gaining around 352,000 followers on the micro-blogging site since September.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said when Bana and her mother were evacuated from Aleppo that she would be brought to Turkey with her family.

The eventual departure of thousands left in Aleppo's insurgent zone will hand full control of the city to Assad, the biggest prize of the war.

Irish Independent

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