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A gym in southern Turkey has gifted a Syrian child refugee with a lifetime membership after a touching photo went viral.

12-year-old Mohammed Khaled, who works as a shoeshiner in Adiyaman province, melted hearts across the country when he was pictured staring longingly into the window with a footstool strapped to his back.

The heartbreaking photo quickly spread across social media, grabbing the attention of gym owner Engin Dogan.

Clearly moved by the image, Engin offered Mohammed an all-access lifetime pass to the facility.

Speaking to Hurriyet News, he said: “A boy, looking through the gym window, wearing slippers in the middle of winter and carrying his backpack.

“Our aim was to find him and offer him a lifetime membership here. And, we did it.

“He is one of our members now.”

Mohammed, told the Turkish news agency, Anadolu, that the oppourtunity was a dream come true.

“He found me and helped me,“ the 12-year-old said.

Mustafa Kucukkaya, one of the gym's managers, told Turkish newspaper Sabah: “It affected me very much because we came from nothing and we did not have such a gym in our time.

"The Turkish people are very sensitive about this issue, I am very touched, I think we are doing something very good."

The good deed has earned the respect of Instagram users around the globe, with many taking to the comments to commend the gym owners for their generosity.

“Amazing deed,” one user wrote. “Great work, inspirational stuff,” said another.

Mohammed, who has always “dreamed of losing weight,” hopes to use the opportunity to kick-start his fitness journey.



Turkey has placed an 'indefinite' ban on all events organised by LGBT rights groups in its capital city, Ankara.

The move comes just days after the city's governing body cancelled a German LGBT film festival, citing terrorism and public safety.

“Starting from November 18, 2017, concerning our community’s public sensitivity, any events such as [LGBT] cinema, theatre, panels, interviews, exhibitions are banned until further notice in our province to provide peace and security,” a decree issued on Sunday read.

It went on to say how such exhibitions could cause different groups to “publicly harbour hatred and hostility” toward each other.

It is likely that this announcement will fuel concerns amongst LGBT under the Islamic-rooted government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

This is not the first ban of it's kind in Turkey. The annual gay pride parade in Istanbul has been blocked by authorities for three years in a row also on security grounds.

While homosexuality is not considered a crime under Turkish law, but there is still widespread hostility with LGBT people facing discrimination and stigma.


It's been reported that an Irish couple have been involved in a minibus crash while holidaying in Turkey.

According to The Irish Independent , the incident happened in the Kusadasi beach resort yesterday.

It's understood the minibus was en route to the airport at the time of the accident.

The extent of the couple's injuries is not known, though a source told the newspaper they are not believed to be life threatening.

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed they are aware of the situation and are providing consular assistance.



Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said authorities have identified the person responsible for the terror attack on New Year’s Eve.

Images taken from a selfie video shot by the gunman have been previously been circulated by officials, however Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus has said they now have his fingerprints.

Terrorist group ISIS who claimed responsibility for the attack, branded the gunman “a heroic soldier”.

The name of the gunman has not yet been released, however, according to the Independent UK, it is believed the man was living with his family in Izmir, Turkey for three weeks prior to the attack.

The attack, which was carried out at the Reina nightclub in Instanbul, saw the death of 39 people – many of whom were tourists – while a further 70 people sustained injuries.


The Turkish Parliament have extended the country’s state of emergency to “at least” three months, RTÉ have reported.

Image released by Turkish authorities, Credit Independent UK



*This is a breaking news story*

Local reports this evening state that a tragic incident has occurred in an upmarket Turkish nightclub, where a huge New Year's bash was marking the end of 2016.

It is believed that two men dressed in Santa outfits opened fire on revellers, killing and injuring dozens. The most recent information coming live from the scene reports that 35 people are dead. At least one of the dead is a police officer.

CNN Turk reports that at least one attacker is still at large outside the Istanbul venue. The BBC reports that after the shooting, the killer shouted the murder was in revenge for Russian involvement in the conflict in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Ambulances and police forces are there now in the popular Ortakoy district of the city. The attack happened at 00.30 local time (11.30 Irish time).

Up to 30 people have been wounded in the attack, NTV is reporting.

And close-to 700 people would have been at the club – one of the city's most high-profile spots – at the time.

In March also in Turkey, 37 people died in a bombing at a bus stop in Ankara. Meanwhile in June, a suicide bombing at Istanbul airport killed 45 people.  

The hashtag #PrayForIstanbul had in the aftermath of the killings begun trending on social media outlets.


If you feel like you have turkey coming out of your eyeballs today (yup, us too) you mightn't feel like sitting down to another roast dinner with all the trimmings feed-fest. 

Still, if there's a load of good meat left over from yesterday, you don't want to be chucking it out either. 

So here are five delicious recipes that prove you CAN make scrumptious meals from roast turkey. 


1. Turkey Club: Loaded with pecans, mustard, and cheese, this is just the thing to hit the spot on Stephen's Day. Alternatively – try an avocado, turkey and bacon bagel.

2. Loaded with veg – Jamie Oliver's turkey con chilli definitely doesn't feel like leftovers. Complete with home-made guac, this will be devoured!

3. Roast potato, stuffing, sausage, and turkey pie: if there are any sore heads or delicate souls that need a great dish to pick them up today – this is it. A great recipe to use up stuffing, potato, and gravy too. 

4. If you don't have a load of turkey meat left, but still don't want to see what you do have wasted, turkey noodle soup is ideal for using up the remaining slivers. Warming and nourishing too.

5. Turkey curry on Stephen's Day has a bad rep – but this Thai twist on the old cliche is fabulous. 




Aleppo is today under siege as remaining rebels clash with government and Russian forces in the eastern part of the city.

Witnessing the catastrophic scenes around them are ordinary Syrians – men, women, and children who are trapped and increasingly desperate as their options run out.

Some of those seemingly caught up in the violence have been posting chilling words online, sharing ‘final’ messages with a world they feel has abandoned them.

While the authenticity of the posts cannot be verified independently – the sentiment is nevertheless harrowing. Indeed, as one commentator on Twitter stated: "I don't know if the account is real or not but the suffering of the civilians of Aleppo is real."

And international humanitarian groups are already describing recent events as a “complete meltdown of humanity”.

As the bloody four-year long battle comes to an end, Russian state media is reporting that the rebels are cornered into an area of less than 5sq km.

The UN says that some 80 people have been executed by pro-government fighters in their homes and on the streets – adding that at least 13 of the dead are children.

"In these hours, it looks like a complete meltdown of humanity in Aleppo," the UN’s Rupert Colville commented today.

Citing a doctor on the ground, Unicef has also said that around 100 children “unaccompanied or separated from their families,” are trapped in a building under heavy attack.

"It is time for the world to stand up for the children of Aleppo and bring their living nightmare to an end," a spokesman for the organisation stated.

An emergency debate in the UK parliament today heard that humanitarian help is needed immediately to save lives and help those stranded in the city.

"Every hour, butcheries are carried out," the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights has furthermore claimed – as cited by CNN. The same news organisation has described the city as “a wasteland of carnage and rubble”.

The Syrian government has yet to comment on the killings in state-run media.

Conflict in Aleppo began in 2012 in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab Springs unrest.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has from last year been supported by Russia; rebel forces are propped up by Turkey.

Initially, world powers including the US, France, and Britain publicly backed the anti-government fighters, but the rise of Isil in the region and the rebels’ increasingly pro-Islamic tendencies eventually dissolved this support. 



Just after 8pm GMT last night, three bombs were detonated in the arrivals hall of Istanbul's Ataturk airport.

According to multiple news reports, three suicide bombers began firing on the crowds outside Europe's third busiest airport, before blowing themselves up.

ISIS are expected to be responsible for these heinous attacks, although there has been no confirmation of this as of yet.  

Up to 36 people are expected to be dead, along with over 150 injured, most of whom are Turkish natives. 

Paul Roos, a South African native was present during the attacks. Mr Roos,77, recalls seeing one of the attackers 'randomly shooting' in the departures hall. 

The witness went on to state that "he was just firing at anyone coming in front of him.He was wearing all black. His face was not masked. I was 50 metres away from him."

This attack on Ataturk airport is one of the deadliest in a series of terrorist attacks to hit Turkey, who are struggling to contain the conflict in their neighbouring country of Syria.

Turkey has been faced with a number of violent attacks this year, which included two suicide bomb attacks in busy tourist areas of Istanbul. 

In a statement, Turkey's President  Tayyip Erdogan said "The attack, which took place during the holy month of Ramadan, shows that terrorism strikes with no regard for faith and values."

"The bombs that exploded in Istanbul today could have gone off at any airport in any city around the world" he went on to say.

Turkish Airlines are the official partners of the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament, currently being held in France. 


Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this attack. 

Feat Image: dailymail.com Centre Image: dailymail.com


Like most people, we start daydreaming about our Christmas dinner around mid-November every year; we ponder the variety of potato, we fantasise about our mum’s secret recipe gravy and we imagine that first succulent bite.

Then today rolls around and we can’t bring ourselves to look at the bloody thing.

Every time we walk into the kitchen, we see it resting under some crinkled tinfoil and we know we’re going to have to start making some excuses pronto to avoid eating any more of that giant bird.

If you’re fresh out of excuses at this stage, then feel free to use some of ours. We won’t tell.

1. Dustin was the shining light of my childhood. I can’t possibly betray him again.
So, no thank you, I will decline your kind offer of turkey curry.


2. No, I’m sorry. It’s against my beliefs
I've seen the light since yesterday when I happily scarfed down two helpings.


3. Turkey is unfortunately my least favourite meat…


4. I’m sorry I can’t possibly eat turkey without cranberry sauce.
Oh, you have some? I’m sorry, I meant without marmalade.


5. I found that turkey a tiny bit dry the first time around.
And we're all out of Club Orange, so it would just be a total disaster.


6. Oooh more turkey! Do you mind if I eat it in the nip? It tastes better that way.
No? OK, I’ll sit this meal out so.


7. Eating turkey after the 26th is against everything I stand for.
Yes, my moral compass revolves solely around farmyard animals. Deal with it.


8. I’ll only have some if I can put my head in the carcass afterwards like a zombified Monica from Friends.
No? Grand, so. Your loss.


9. I will projectile vom if I have to look at one more piece of turkey.
But thank you, I’ll just help myself to this block of brie, tin of Roses and tub of Celebrations.



Facts Channel recently asked a group of Irish lads and ladies over to taste the delicacies of American Thanksgiving dinner… and they were not impressed, to say the least.

They called Brussels sprouts "condensed grass" and theyhey thought the hasselback potato looked like an "armadillo." But they were particularly grossed out over the sweet potato and marshmallow casserole.

The truly-Irish sayings they come out with are brilliant though. No one else can describe like the Irish!



It is the shocking image that began to emerge yesterday afternoon on social media: a small boy in blue trousers, a red t-shirt, and pair of smart black Velcro runners.

He was seen lying face down in the sand on a beach in Bodrum, a coastal area of Turkey popular with Irish tourists.

The three-year-old toddler, later named as Aylan Kurdi, had drowned – along with a dozen others.

Fleeing the violence of their home in Syria, Aylan and his family were attempting to reach Greece across the Aegean Sea at the time of his death.

The small boat on which they were travelling would have been loaded with migrants before setting off at 2am yesterday from the coast of Turkey.

Aylan, of course, never made it. Nor did his five-year-old elder brother, Galip, or their mother, Rehan. Two people remain unaccounted for; the youngest victim is a nine-month-old baby.

The short journey amounts to just 20km, but none of the passengers were wearing life-jackets, and once tossed into the sea, the children in particular stood little chance of survival. 

The only remaining member of the family, the children’s father, Abdullah, had to make a series of unspeakably grim phone-calls to relatives yesterday.

He reportedly could only say: “My wife and two boys are dead,” before breaking down in grief.

Despite the presumed hardship of their young lives – the family lived in the ISIS-besieged Syrian city of Kobane – evidently the Kurdi boys enjoyed moments of happiness too: heartbreaking photographs of the pair emerged this morning.

One shows them smiling warmly while posing for the camera; Galip with his arm around Alyan.

A second snap shows the boys laughing with a large teddy bear between them.

Today, newspapers throughout Europe are dominated by the image of Alyan’s body – many front pages show him being carried gently from the shoreline by a member of the Turkish police force.

Indeed, the photograph is being compared to other historically significant and pivotal images from the 20th century: the stark picture of a burning Phan Thi Kim Phúc taken during the Vietnamese War, as well as the photo used on the cover of TIME magazine showing Muslim prisoners peering through barbed wire during the Srebrenica Genocide.

Social media has been particularly vocal too, with hundreds of thousands of tweets being posted calling for European nations – including Ireland – to do more to alleviate the crisis.

Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland today, Minister Brendan Howlin admitted that as a nation we now must “step up to the plate,” to help those refugees fleeing from Syria.

“It’s a world issue,” he said. “And we need to have a world response with a real sense of solidarity.”

Calling it “one of the most challenging issues for human-kind right now,” he concluded: “Seeing the bodies of young children on the shores of Europe is so shocking – and we can’t let that lie.”

Ireland has so far committed to taking 600 refugees between now and 2017.

This year, Germany, which has been at the forefront of campaigning on behalf of displaced peoples from the Middle East, will take 800,000.


Beset by an angry mob and being beaten by sticks, one man captured on camera fighting off his assailants in Istanbul has been widely praised online. 

And the individual in question has been identified on social media and by Turkish media as Irish citizen, Mohammed Fadel Dobbous.

Indeed, Kuwait-born Mohammed – furthermore described as a professional boxer – is being heralded as something of a hero for standing up to the mob of local shopkeepers.

He had been at a market in Istanbul's Aksaray neighbourhood and was seemingly looking for a bottle of water.

Upon opening the fridge door in one establishment, he sent dozens of bottles flying to the ground – something which evidently greatly irked the stick-wielding shop owner. 

A large group of fellow proprietors then came to defend their colleague, some carrying sticks or stools.

However, footage of the incident, which is believed to have occurred at the beginning of this month, shows the besieged man defying unfavourable odds by taking the attackers on one by one.

Even when Mr Dobbous has a stool thrown over him and one shopkeeper hits him repeatedly with a stick, he hardly seems to flinch. 

A spokesman for the Boxing Union Of Ireland told Mirror Online today that "there is no licensed boxer," by the name Mohammed Fadel Dobbous registered with them. The Irish Amateur Boxing Association has said it is currently looking into the matter.

The widespread support for the Irishman follows a series of crimes by shopkeepers in Turkey.

In July, a shopkeeper in Izmir, a location popular with European tourists, was accused of beating a Syrian child.

And in February a journalist was stabbed to death by a shopkeeper after he threw a snowball at a window during a playful snowball fight.