Fans of Turkish football club Beşiktaş have shown their support for children affected by the Türkiye and Syria earthquakes, showering the team’s Istanbul pitch with thousands of stuffed toys.

The stadium was packed with 40,000 fans for the football match against Antalyaspor. 

Of them, many responded to the club’s request to bring toys to the stadium.

Fans then tossed them onto the pitch at the game’s 4:17 mark — 4:17am was the time the first earthquake struck on February 6.

As the toys gathered on the edges of the pitch, players ran out to collect them and thank the fans.

Football fans inside a stadium throwing stuffed toys onto the pitch
The timing of the event was designed to mark the moment the earthquake struck.(Getty Images: Anadolu Agency)

The stuffed bears, rabbits and other animals will be delivered to the affected children.

Stuffed animals lie on a green soccer pitch as soccer players pick them up
Players ran out onto the pitch to collect the toys and thank the fans.(Getty Images: Anadolu Agency)

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Türkiye-Syria earthquake death toll passes 50,000

The death toll from the devastating series of earthquakes that struck Türkiye and Syria this month has passed 50,000.

The grim milestone was confirmed as thousands of Syrian refugees who had fled years of war returned to Syria from earthquake-hit cities in Türkiye.

Turkish authorities said 18,000 Syrian migrants returned to their home country this month.

According to government estimates, more than 1.7 million Syrian refugees had been living in the 10 southern Turkish provinces devastated by this month’s earthquakes.