Two Jordanian brothers confirmed dead in Turkey earthquake

More than 50,000 people died in Turkey and Syria after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on February 6

Adestroyed building in Antakya, Turkey, on February 18, 2023.  Reuters
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The bodies of two Jordanian brothers have been recovered from the rubble of a building that collapsed after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey five weeks ago.

Jordanian Foreign Ministry said genetic tests confirmed their identity.

At least 48,500 people were killed in Turkey and about 6,000 in Syria. About 14 per cent of them were foreign nationals.

The ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the contact with the two brothers, who were in the ancient city of Antakya, "was lost since the beginning of the earthquake".

State television identified the two brothers as Muhannad and Ashraf Al Tarawneh.

Their remains were pulled a few days ago from the rubble in Antakya, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Sinan Al Majali said.

"Turkish authorities have informed the Jordanian embassy in Ankara the results of the DNA tests, which confirmed the identity of the (two) Jordanian citizens," Mr Al Majali said.

Relations between Jordan and Turkey have been mostly frosty for years over regional issues. Jordan sent earthquake aid and medical teams to Turkey.

Last month, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al Safadi visited the site of the collapsed building in Antakya and thanked Turkish authorities for their co-operation in finding the Tarawneh brothers.

Antakya, the capital of Hatay province, was once one of Christianity's most important cities alongside Rome and Jerusalem. Old Antakya, which was a tourist destination, has been obliterated.

Updated: March 15, 2023, 7:55 AM