Turkey, Middle East

Messages of support pour in for Turkey’s fight against forest fires

Yemen, Palestine, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, EU, Moldova’s autonomous Gagauzia region among those offering condolences

Mehmet Nuri Ucar and Gulsen Topcu   | 02.08.2021
Messages of support pour in for Turkey’s fight against forest fires

ANKARA

The international community on Monday condoled with Turkey over wildfires that have led to deaths and material damage over the past few days.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmad Awad bin Mubarak sent a message to his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, expressing his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the fires, according to Yemen’s Foreign Ministry.

Mubarak also wished a speedy recovery to the injured, stressing that Yemen is on the side of the “fraternal” Turkish people in the fight against this natural disaster.

A delegation of Palestinian scholars also issued a message of condolence.

"We are deeply saddened by the wildfires that have erupted in many parts of fraternal country Turkey," it said.

“We extend our condolences to those who lost their lives and to their families. We heartily share the pain of the fraternal Turkish people.”

The message also said that Palestine is praying for the firefighting teams and wishes them success.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, the highest seat of learning in the Sunni Islamic world, published a statement, expressing its sorrow and conveying its condolences for the forest fire victims and their relatives as well as all the workers and volunteers trying to stem the spread of the massive fires.

Al-Azhar also wished early recovery to the injured, according to their statement on Facebook.

The statement said Al-Azhar was on the side of the Turkish people in the face of this tragic event.

On July 31, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry also sent a message of solidarity to Turkey, which is fighting the fires.

Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov also extended his condolences to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the wildfires.

"I am deeply saddened by the news of the loss of life as a result of fires in several provinces of Turkey. In these difficult times, I wish the people of Turkey courage and resilience in overcoming the consequences of this natural disaster," Japarov said in his message.

"On behalf of the people of the Kyrgyz Republic and on my own behalf, I express my condolences to the families and relatives of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to all the injured," the statement added.

"In an immediate response, the European Commission has already helped mobilize one Canadair plane from Croatia and two Canadairs from Spain. These firefighting planes are part of rescEU, the European reserve of civil protection assets," the European Commission said in a statement.

"The EU stands in full solidarity with Turkey at this very difficult time. I thank all the countries which have offered help," said EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic, adding they stand ready to provide further assistance.

Croatia will send a firefighting plane to Turkey as part of the fight against the fires, Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman said on Twitter.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares held a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Cavusoglu to convey the solidarity of Spain and condolences for the victims of the fires.

"Mr. Albares has also informed Mr. Cavusoglu about the decision of the Spanish Government to send two CL 415 firefighting planes and a C-295 transport plane of the Spanish Air Force, as well as a complete team of the Military Emergency Unit (UME), to assist in the extinction of the wildfires," said a statement by the Spanish ministry.


It added that the aircraft, personnel, and equipment would arrive later on Monday, as well as Tuesday.

During the phone call, Cavusoglu thanked Spain for its support and assistance to Turkey in its fight against forest fires as part of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, according to Turkish Foreign Ministry sources.

Cavusoglu thanked Albares and Radman for their solidarity and support in separate Twitter posts.

Israel also extended its condolences to Turkey through a written Foreign Ministry statement.

"Following the disaster caused by forest fires in Turkey, the people of Israel are praying for the speedy recovery of the injured and sending their condolences to the families of the victims," it said.

Separately, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat dismissed social media claims that Turkey "turned down Israel's offer to help," adding that Tel Aviv had contacted Ankara after the fires broke out.

"Today, I extend my condolences for the loss of lives by the deadly wildfires in Turkey. Our solidarity and thoughts are with the people of Turkey and the firefighters battling the blazes," Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Twitter.

Qatar has sent a team to Turkey to take part in search and rescue activities amid the forest fires, local media reported Sunday.

According to Qatar’s state news agency QNA, a team from the Qatar International Search and Rescue Group of the Qatari Internal Security Forces departed for Turkey on the instruction of Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

The governor of Moldova’s autonomous Gagauzia region, Irina Vlah, also sent a letter of condolence to the Turkish president over the ongoing forest fires.

“It is very important to preserve national unity in the face of this great disaster and difficult time,” Vlah said, expressing condolences to the Turkish nation and to the families of those who lost their lives in the fires.

Gagauzia is an autonomous region in the Eastern European country that is home to a mostly Gagauz population – an Orthodox Christian, Turkic community.

At least eight people have lost their lives in the wildfires, which started on July 28 and were fanned by strong winds.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the areas affected by the forest fires, saying 50 million Turkish liras ($5.91 million) have been released to meet urgent needs.

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