The fate of a teenage TikTok cooking star has captured the attention of Turkish media after the devastating earthquakes in Southern Turkey and Northern Syria.
Taha Duymaz, who has 1.9M followers on TikTok and a major presence on Instagram and YouTube, was buried under the rubble of a collapsed building in the Turkish city of Hatay, per local reports.
Semiha Duymaz, his older sister, posted a social media message on Monday saying she believed that Taha and four other relatives were still alive under the rubble of their home in Hatay.
She said that rescue services had yet to reach the collapsed building, which was opposite a high school in Hatay. She appealed for people to assist in the efforts to excavate her family, prompting an outpouring of concern on social networks, amid calls for rescue efforts to be stepped up.
Duymaz last posted on TikTok at 7PM local time on Sunday, just hours before the first earthquake.
His original fame grew out of posts on cooking traditional and innovative dishes on a limited budget but he has since spun into a wider interest in his life story as a child who struggled at school but found his calling in cooking.
In updated figures on Tuesday morning, Turkey said at least 3,549 people were known to have died in the country, following the two earthquakes that struck in the early hours of Monday and then mid-morning, followed by hundreds of aftershocks.
Added to the deaths in Syria, this brings the overall death toll to at least 5,100 people. At least another 20,000 people have been injured in Turkey alone.
The country said there have been reports of 11,342 collapsed buildings, 5,775 of which had been confirmed. The number of people trapped under collapsed buildings is unknown.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday announced a three-month state of emergency in the worst affected provinces in the south of the country.
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