Twitter’s Bana meets President Erdogan after Aleppo evacuation

Published December 22nd, 2016 - 10:18 GMT
Bana Alabed told Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "I love you." (AFP/File)
Bana Alabed told Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "I love you." (AFP/File)

Bana Al Alabed, the 7-year-old girl who gained worldwide attention for her tweets from war-torn Aleppo, has met Turkish President Recep Erdogan after being safely evacuated from the rebel held enclave.

Bana and her little brother were pictured yesterday sitting on Mr Erdogan's knee in the presidential complex in Ankara. This comes after the President reportedly sent a special representative to Syria to collect Bana and her family after they fled east Aleppo.

The seven-year old tweeted a picture of herself and the President, announcing she was ‘very happy.’

President Erdogan also jumped on the Twitter bandwagon, expressing his support for the people of Syria. Turkey has been heavily involved in the Syria’s proxy war, arming fighters opposed to Syrian president Bashar Assad.

Bana captured the hearts of thousands across the world, when she began Tweeting of daily life under siege in Aleppo. In broken English, and with the help of her mother,  Bana’s messages of fear and hope came to symbolise the plight of Syria’s children trapped in Syria’s war.

However, some critics have questioned the authenticity of the account, claiming Bana actually lived in Turkey already. It is argued that her tweets were part of a propaganda scheme organised by rebels and anti-Assadists, backed by Turkey. 

 

 

 

Such speculation has generally been debunked, and an investigation by citizen journalism site Bellingcat deduced she was tweeting from inside rebel-held Aleppo.  

Bana and her family are among 250,000 who were bussed out of Aleppo over the past few days, to the relative safety of rebel-held countryside . However, thousands remain stranded in freezing temperatures, without food or water.

 

AM


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