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Escaping death at sea, asylum seeker gives birth to twins

'Despite my pregnancy, they pushed me into the water,' says 22-year-old mother

Tezcan Ikizler   | 01.12.2021
Escaping death at sea, asylum seeker gives birth to twins

IZMIR, Turkey

Zaynab Samua said death stared her in the eye when she was stranded on a lifeboat in the Aegean Sea. Two days later, she gave birth to twins.

The Senegalese woman was pushed back along with 11 other asylum seekers by Greek Coast Guard units toward Turkish waters.

They were rescued by the Turkish Coast Guard, and Samua was rushed to a hospital in Turkey's western province of Izmir.

The tearful mother said she was happy to embrace her babies, whom she named Hassan and Hussein, but lamented the inhumane treatment of Greek soldiers.

The 22-year-old woman said the violence started immediately after their boat washed ashore on the Samos Island.

"Greek soldiers detained us, took our clothes, passports and phones and then beat us up. I have bruises on my feet and body. Despite my pregnancy, they pushed me and others into the water. I thought I was going to die. I saw death in that cold sea."

She said she felt hopeful after seeing the Turkish Coast Guard and gendarmerie units.

"I thank the Turkish government and the hospital staff."

Her doctor, Coskun Armagan, said the babies were born prematurely and kept under intensive care due to respiratory stress, but were then discharged.

Dr. Semih Kucukguclu, another doctor at the hospital, said the mother and babies were in good health.


*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas

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