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The Tragic Story Behind The Selfies That Went Viral After A Terror Attack In Turkey

The two images show the meeting place between rumor and truth in the aftermath of a tragedy.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Turkey was struck by tragedy on Monday when a bomb ripped through a rally in the mostly Kurdish city of Suruc, near Turkey's border with Syria. At least 30 people were killed and dozens were hospitalized.

These beautiful young women died moments after selfie was taken in an #ISIS suicide attack in #Suruc, #Turkey.

Soon after the attack, two selfies began circulating on Twitter, claiming to show the scene moments before the bomb went off.

The selfie taken right before the ISIS terrorist/Turkish bomb went off in Suruc. All in the photo are dead/maimed

But according to a user who goes by "madersahi barajyikan," who says she took both selfies, neither was taken in Suruc. She said they were taken to celebrate the 80 seats won by a pro-Kurdish party called HDP in the latest parliamentary election in June.

@Hevallo this picture from celebrating of HDP's 80 MP. Ezgi has massacred in Suruç. I am alive.

But while the person who took the photo is alive and well, the woman behind her (making a peace sign in the second picture) was killed during the bombing, she said.

@jenanmoussa @Hevallo ım the one who took the selfie.ım alive and fine.this photo is old.the white short women behind me is dead.


Her name, according to Twitter and Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, was Ezgi Saadet. She was 20 years old.

The group that organized the rally in Suruc, the Socialist Federation of Youth Associations, has revealed the names of 11 people who were killed in the attack: Koray Çapoğlu, Hatice Ezgi Saadet, Cebrail Günebakan, Uğur Özkan, Nurten Kılıç, Veysel Özdemir, Nazegül Boyraz, Kasım Dedizem, Alper Sapan, Okan Pirinç, and Ferdane Kılıç.

Before her death, Saadet reportedly addressed the activists gathered at the rally, which was organized to support rebuilding efforts in neighboring Kobani, across the border in Syria. The majority Kurdish city was taken back from ISIS control in January.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to the woman who took the photos, but she has not yet replied to requests for comment.

Hayes Brown is a world news editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

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