Mystery as boy, 5, survives Turkey earthquake and found alone 1,500 miles away

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    A young boy found wandering alone in the streets of Maastricht, in the Netherlands, told police that he was from Turkey, and had lost his home in the devastating February earthquake.

    The Dutch police said that the lad had been found "alone in the big city", adding that he only spoke Turkish and did not know any Dutch.

    Police officers took him to a sweetshop before taking him to a police station, where he was given food and ice cream.

    READ MORE: Parents miraculously pulled from Turkey earthquake rubble alive after 12 days

    There the boy spoke to a police officer of Turkish extraction and said that he came from Turkey, adding that his parents were still in Turkey, some 2,000 miles away, and that they had been injured in the earthquake.

    The child has now handed over to social workers and later taken to a shelter.

    It is currently unclear how the child arrived in the Netherlands, and the Turkish Embassy in The Hague as asked the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for further information on the matter.

    A Turkish Embassy official complained that the Dutch authorities had not informed them about the boy, saying: "It seems that the child is not Dutch, because he only speaks Turkish, they had him talk to the Turkish-origin police. In this case, they gave information to the Dutch Social Services when they should have called us."

    • Turkey hit by two massive earthquakes in 12 hours as death toll passes 2,400

    The Disaster-Child Civil Coordination Team, formed after the earthquake in Turkey, has previously expressed grave concerns trafficking of children occurring in the wake of the disaster.

    The 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria on February 6, killing over 50,000 people and injuring over 100,000 in Turkey alone.

    An estimated 14 million people, or 16 percent of Turkey's population, were affected. Due to bitterly cold overnight temperatures, many people who had survived the initial collapse of their homes or offices died from hypothermia while they waited for rescuers to free them from the rubble.


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