Turkish envoy outlines relief priorities, thanks Bangladesh for post-quake support

Hailing South Asian country for declaring Thursday as day of mourning, Mustafa Turan says ‘we will never forget this act of solidarity’

Md. Kamruzzaman  | 09.02.2023 - Update : 09.02.2023
Turkish envoy outlines relief priorities, thanks Bangladesh for post-quake support

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Turkish Ambassador to Bangladesh Mustafa Osman Turan on Thursday outlined his country’s post-quake relief priorities and urged Bangladeshi authorities and citizens to mobilize any humanitarian assistance in the form of essential goods rather than cash.

Addressing a press conference at the embassy building in the capital Dhaka, he said: “We decided not to receive cash assistance but request everyone to deliver in-kind assistance through TIKA’s (Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency) campaign assisted by Turkish Airlines.”

Turan said the earthquake victims need warm clothes, medicines, and expert rescue teams, calling on Bangladeshi authorities and people to directly contact the TIKA Dhaka office for any donations and other support.

At least 16,170 people were killed and 64,194 others injured by two strong earthquakes which jolted southern Türkiye on Monday, the country's disaster agency said on Thursday.

Over 2,802 people were killed and thousands injured in Syria. Besides, thousands of people are still missing in both countries.

Expressing his gratitude, he said: “Bangladesh was one of the countries which responded very quickly. Honorable president, prime minister, speaker of the parliament, and the minister of foreign affairs have sent messages of condolence and solidarity to their Turkish counterparts which were appreciated.”

Referring to the Bangladeshi search and rescue team of 46 experts comprising military, fire service, and others, the Turkish diplomat said the team would operate in Gaziantep where people were still trapped in the rubble.

Hailing Bangladesh for declaring Thursday as “a day of mourning for the earthquake victims in Türkiye and Syria,” he said: “We will never forget this act of solidarity.”

Turan assured that no Bangladeshi nationals in the country have been either killed or missing.

He added that the journalists who are interested in going to cover news from the earthquake-hit areas can apply online and would be served on-arrival visas.

Religious Affairs Coordinator at the Turkish Embassy Ozgur Ozyurek and TIKA Bangladesh Coordinator Mert Baris were also present at the press conference.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh is also considering sending a rescue team to Syria as rescuers are continuously struggling to save lives in the Eastern Mediterranean nation in the aftermath of the massive twin earthquakes.

“We are working on that and it's under the government's active consideration,” a spokesperson for Bangladesh’s Foreign Ministry, Seheli Sabrin, told Anadolu on Thursday in Dhaka.

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