Turkey

'As Turkey helps other states, it also accepts help from them'

Turkey facing 'disaster like nothing it has seen before,' nation will get through this in unity, says foreign minister

Jeyhun Aliyev   | 03.08.2021
'As Turkey helps other states, it also accepts help from them'

ANKARA

As Turkey extends a helping hand to other states, it is similarly ready to accept help from other countries amid recent forest fires that have led to deaths and material damage, Turkey's foreign minister said Tuesday.

"Just as Turkey helps other countries as part of the spirit of solidarity, we wouldn't be hurt if other countries or institutions help us. This isn’t a matter of pride, this is a natural disaster. Solidarity is, of course, important in disaster situations and difficult conditions," Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters at the Fire Management Center in Turkey’s resort city of Antalya, which has been battling blazes.

Noting that Turkey faces “big” fires, Cavusoglu said that many countries, neighboring states, "friendly and brotherly countries" and European states contacted Turkey to offer help.

After the EU sent its announcement to all member states that it would help Turkey, “there were responses from four countries … Croatia, Romania, France, and Spain," said Cavusoglu, adding that Turkish authorities assessed the help offered, such as planes, helicopters, and other relevant firefighting equipment​​​​​​​.

Other offers of help came from other countries, he said.

"We’re facing a disaster the likes of which we’ve never seen. We will fight this fight together and we will get through this together," Cavusoglu said.

He also said that as France later had to send a firefighting plane to neighboring Spain, it later withdrew its offer to help Turkey.

Cavusoglu also thanked Azerbaijan for sending equipment, a helicopter, and firefighting teams to Turkey.

In addition, Iran provided one plane and two helicopters, Spain sent two planes, Qatar sent a technical team and a plane, Russia sent five planes and three helicopters, and Ukraine sent three seaplanes.

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

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