Turkish gym track down refugee in viral photo, offer him lifetime pass

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.