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Earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Popular photos of dogs were not taken during the rescue operation

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After the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, Internet users publish photos of dogs that are supposed to take part in the rescue operation on the spot. Some of these photos, however, are not current and come from other countries.

After earthquakethat hit southeastern Turkey and northern Syria on Monday, February 6, many countries pledged to send their rescue teams to the scene. Some are accompanied by trained dogs to help find people alive buried under the rubble of destroyed buildings. In this context, photos of dogs standing on rubble are posted online. One reader asked us if the most popular photos showing a dog standing next to the visible hand of a person buried under the rubble are genuine and from an ongoing operation in Turkey.

There are many more posts with such photos on the web. Many captions in Polish, and especially in English, suggest that the photos come from Turkey, specifically from the city of Gaziantep, which was affected by this disaster. The authors of the descriptions praise the dogs, emphasizing their courage. “Earthquake in Turkey, dogs irreplaceable in such situations. Respect for them” – wrote an Internet user who shared one of the most popular photos circulating in the network in the context of events in Turkey.

Entries with outdated photosFacebook, Twitter

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Equally popular is a photo of a dirty dog ​​that, according to many descriptions on social media, was supposed to “work all night and save 10 lives”, implicitly during an operation in Turkey or Syria.

An entry with an outdated photoTwitter

However, the photos visible in the above entries are not current and do not come from Turkey. The picture of the dirty dog ​​was taken after a rescue operation in the United States in 2014. The remaining photos were published online in 2018.

Old photos of a Czech photographer

To verify that the photo is up-to-date and relates to recent events, simply enter it into a publicly available image search engine, such as Google Images. In the case of photos of dogs in the rubble, the results lead to e.g. down directory titled “Rescue Dogs” on the Shutterstock image database.

Its author is the Czech photographer Jaroslav Noska. In the collection you can find all the sought-after photos that are often shared on social media as current photos from Turkey and Syria. They are definitely not up to date, because the last update of the catalog took place on January 3, 2019. Unfortunately, we were unable to determine where exactly they were taken, because all of them were signed only as “Dog searches for the injured in the rubble after the earthquake.”

The exact date of publication of the photos can be found elsewhere service for sharing and purchasing photos – Alamy.com. There, too, Jaroslav Noska signed them only as “A dog is looking for the wounded in the rubble after the earthquake”, but the description contains the exact date of publication: October 18, 2018. Although the exact location is not given, it can be said that the photographs are not current and do not show ongoing rescue operation in Turkey.

Looking through other photos in Jaroslav Noska’s collection, you can see that the author added more detailed information, including location and date, to the photos depicting a specific event. For example at photographs with the heroes of the movie “Star Wars” clarified that they were performed on October 15, 2018 at the O2 Arena in Prague. It is therefore possible that the popular photos of rescue dogs do not come from real actions, but were taken for commercial purposes. The more so that in November 2020, a Czech photographer published another batch of photos of dogs looking for people under the rubble and again described them only as “Dog is looking for the injured in the rubble after the earthquake.”

Foreign agencies Associated Press and Agence France Press, which verified the origin of the photo, asked Jaroslav Noska where and when he took the popular photos, but none of them received an answer. On the photographer’s profile in social media it can be seen that Noska currently deals mainly with commercial photography, e.g. portraits and wedding sessions.

American rescue dog and action from 2014

More information can be found on the photo of the dirty dog, captioned as “an angel who worked all night and saved 10 lives”. It is not current and does not come from Turkey. It was taken in March 2014 by Reuters reporter Rick Wilking. IN archives The agency can read that the photo shows the rescue dog Tryon, who helped search for injured people after a mudslide in the village of Oso, Washington.

Tryon, visible in the popular photo, was also captured, for example, on photographs Associated Press agency. The caption states that the photo was taken “on Highway 530 near Arlington, Washington.” At the same time, we have not found any media reports confirming that Tryon was supposed to save 10 people during those events. The mudslide brought a total of 43 victims.

Dogs help, for example, Polish firefighters

Although these popular photos are not up to date, there are many more online that show rescue dogs at work in Turkey.

Eight dogs are helping the Polish search and rescue group HUSAR, which set off for Turkey on Monday, February 6. On February 9, Andrzej Bartkowiak, the chief commander of the State Fire Service, published photos of animals working in the rubble. “Our four-legged heroes bravely with firefighters do not stop looking for people … Thank you and be careful” – he wrote.

Main photo source: Twitter

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