World, Middle East

Aiding occupied Palestine: A Turkish priority

Turkish aid agency TIKA has carried out hundreds of development projects in recent years across Israeli-occupied Palestine

Web editor: Yuksel Serdar Oguz   | 15.03.2017
Aiding occupied Palestine: A Turkish priority AnadoluAgency

JERUSALEM

Turkey’s international aid agency (TIKA) has helped meet the needs of Palestinians with 389 development projects over the course of the last decade.

Projects have been carried out in the fields of education, humanitarian aid, water supply, industry, historical heritage preservation, and administrative and civil infrastructure.

Of these, 195 were carried out in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, 71 in East Jerusalem and 123 in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

TIKA has continued to work in the Palestinian public-health sector by building hospitals, supplying medical equipment, training health personnel, providing surgical operations and contributing ambulances.

A Palestinian-Turkish “Friendship Hospital” is expected to be opened this year at a total cost of $62 million. The facility will boast a 180-bed capacity, making it Palestine’s largest and most modern hospital.

A 30-bed hospital, which has operated in the West Bank city of Tubas for the last five years, is also among the medical facilities built by TIKA in Palestine.

What’s more, a 320-unit housing project -- to be built by TIKA at a total cost of some $13 million -- will be able to accommodate hundreds of Palestinian families who lost their homes to recent Israeli aggression.

TIKA has also continued to carry out projects in the education field, building new schools and renovating existing ones, setting up computer labs, and providing Palestinian students with scholarships.

Thousands of Palestinians now receive education at six TIKA schools in different cities of Palestine.

The Nuri Pakdil Girls School in the West Bank city of Nablus, for example, boasts 18 classrooms, two computer labs and three rooms for faculty members.

One of the Palestinians’ most important sources of income is farming. Therefore, with the aim of supporting Palestinian agriculture, TIKA established the Abasan production facility, which now represents Palestine’s most modern facility for processing olive oil.

Being fully aware of the historical bonds between Turkey and Palestine, TIKA also continues to carry out restoration projects with a view to preserving Ottoman-era monuments and artifacts for future generations.

Recent restoration projects include the renovation of the gold-plated crescent of Qubbat As-Sakhra and a clock tower built on the orders of Turkish Sultan Abdulhamid II.

TIKA has also printed guidebooks in Turkish, Arabic and English to provide visitors to the region with a better understanding of Palestine, Jerusalem and the iconic Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In addition, Palestine’s traditional Nebi Musa festivals, which had largely stopped since Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, were revived in 2014 with TIKA’s support.

* Ali Murat Alhas contributed to this report from Ankara

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