Orlando couple killed in Turkey earthquake, found holding each other
ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando couple were two of the more than 20,000 people who were killed in the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
Orlando couple Alex and Veronika Ilgin were with family in Turkey when Monday's earthquake rocked Southern Turkey and Northern Syria. Alex's best friend said they were in each other's arms when they were found in the rubble by his brother.
"He actually had first hands on him to identify him in the rubble. He said Alex had his arm around Veronika in bed," said Alex's best friend Vasilios ‘Billy’ Poulos.
Alex was a mortgage broker and hosted a bible study weekly. Veronika was a nurse at Orlando Health. The two had gotten married in July and were planning to start a family.
"It’s very comforting to know that they were side by side," he said. "It was clear to everyone looking in that they were flawless as a couple. Flawless. Complimented each other perfectly."
Poulos is now collecting supplies to send to those who survived the earthquake because he knows that's what they would have wanted. On Monday, February 13 at 8 p.m. there will be a memorial for the couple at Cafe 34 Istanbul on International Drive in Orlando. The restaurant will be donating a percentage of its proceeds to families and to help those overseas.
"[They were] just so kind. Selfless in all of their actions. Always put others before themselves," he said.
With all of his heart, he wishes he could have said his goodbyes.
"It's hard to think that phone call, ‘hey where are you’ could be the last time you talk to someone," said Poulos. "I think we are so caught up in the day-to-day we forget how fragile life is. I think we need to remember how meaningless everything is and appreciate what very little time we all have."