Parents of Turkish conjoined twins overjoyed at their 'rebirth' after they are separated by UK medics

Ellen Manning
·2-min read
ANTALYA, TURKEY - (ARCHIVE): A file photo dated on November 30, 2019 shows siamese twins Derman and Yigit Evrensel in Antalya, Turkey. With the helping hand from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the 2-year-olds Derman and Yigit were operated in the United Kingdom and successfully separated. (Photo by Aytug Can Sencar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Conjoined twins Derman and Yigit Evrensel have finally been separated after treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital. (Getty Images)

The family of a pair of rare conjoined twins are celebrating their ‘rebirth’ after they were separated successfully at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Yigit and Derman Evrensel were born in Antalya, Turkey, with their heads joined to each other.

The twins, who will turn two on 21 June, were brought to the UK last year where they have undergone a series of operations and were finally separated on 28 January.

They were flown back to Turkey on Wednesday with their parents in a special air ambulance.

ANTALYA, TURKEY - (ARCHIVE): A file photo dated on November 30, 2019 shows siamese twins Derman and Yigit Evrensel in Antalya, Turkey. With the helping hand from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the 2-year-olds Derman and Yigit were operated in the United Kingdom and successfully separated. (Photo by Aytug Can Sencar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The twins' family say their separation marks their 'rebirth'. (Getty Images)
ANTALYA, TURKEY - (ARCHIVE): A file photo dated on November 30, 2019 shows siamese twins Derman and Yigit Evrensel in Antalya, Turkey. With the helping hand from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the 2-year-olds Derman and Yigit were operated in the United Kingdom and successfully separated. (Photo by Aytug Can Sencar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The family have now flown back to Turkey from the UK. (Getty Images)

Their family are now celebrating what they see as the twins starting life again.

Their father Omer Evrensel said: “'When I saw them separated, I burst into tears. This was our only dream. Now they can play, do whatever they want like their peers.

“They'll start life again, they're almost reborn. We'll start everything from scratch.”

Read more: Conjoined twins reveal what it was like to be 'cut in half' aged four during life-threatening surgery

His wife Fatma described how overjoyed she was by the successful separation of the twins.

She said: “I could never leave them for a second, but I also couldn't hug them or cradle them. I am overjoyed that their agony is over.”

ANTALYA, TURKEY - (ARCHIVE): A file photo dated on November 30, 2019 shows siamese twins Derman and Yigit Evrensel in Antalya, Turkey. With the helping hand from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the 2-year-olds Derman and Yigit were operated in the United Kingdom and successfully separated. (Photo by Aytug Can Sencar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Craniopagus twins, those joined by the head, are incredibly rare. (Getty Images)

Twins joined by the head, known as craniopagus twins, are incredibly rare and most do not survive.

Conjoined twins are rare to begin with – occurring at a rate of about 1 in 2.5 million births worldwide — of those, only 5% are craniopagus and separations are notoriously difficult.

Evrensel reportedly said he and his wife had been asked to terminate the pregnancy once medics realised the twins were conjoined but they refused.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 09: Fatma Evrensel (L) and one of his sons, who were formerly siamese twins operated in the United Kingdom and successfully separated, pose for a photo in London, United Kingdom on June 09, 2020. With the helping hand from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the 2-year-olds Derman and Yigit were operated in the United Kingdom and successfully separated. Following post-surgical treatment, the family look forward to coming home from Luton Airport tonight. (Photo by Tayfun Salci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Fatma Evrensel said previously she could never hug or cradle her children. (Getty Images)
ANTALYA, TURKEY - (ARCHIVE): A file photo dated on December 01, 2019 shows siamese twins Derman and Yigit Evrensel and their mother Fatma departing from Antalya, Turkey to United Kingdom for surgery. With the helping hand from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the 2-year-olds Derman and Yigit were operated in the United Kingdom and successfully separated. (Photo by Aytug Can Sencar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The family have now returned to Turkey. (Getty Images)

The family are said to have been helped to get to the UK by Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife, with reports also suggesting that a Turkish businessman and Turkish doctors in the UK had lent money to pay for the surgery.

It’s not the first time Great Ormond Street has carried out rare surgery on craniopagus twins.

In July last year surgeons at the world-leading children’s hospital carried out surgery on two-year-old sisters Safa and Marwa Ullah, from Charsadda, Pakistan, when they were 19 months old.