Syrian youngster saves Istanbul man from drowning
ISTANBULA Syrian youngster saved an elderly man from drowning near Istanbul’s Galata Bridge on April 21, as a local crowd watched and applauded the dramatic scene.
A man had jumped into the Golden Horn after climbing the bridge railing, after which Rabaa Rahmoun, a Syrian who works as a waiter in one of the restaurants on the bridge, dived in himself to save the man from drowning.
Rahmoun managed to keep the man afloat by holding his arm until the Naval Police arrived at the scene. Scores of people watched the drama unfold and then applauded Rahmoun, who joyfully saluted the crowd by waving his hand.
Here is the Doğan News Agency footage showing the incident:
The man was transferred to the nearby Haseki Hospital in an ambulance after receiving first aid at the scene.
The number of Syrian refugees who have taken shelter in Turkey has now passed 900,000, according to a statement released by Prime Ministry’s Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) earlier this month.
Turkey has maintained its staunch support for the Syrian opposition, with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu recently rejecting claims by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that three-year war in his country was turning in the regime’s favor.
The name of the young Syrian lifesaver in Istanbul, “Rabaa,” means “four” in Arabic, and echoes the name of the four-fingered gesture adopted by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who regularly uses the salute to show his support to deposed former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
The “Rabaa” hand gesture became the symbol of Muslim Brotherhood supporters at the protests in Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiyah Square.