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Aid pours in at Turkiye Embassy in Moscow after quakes

February 15, 2023 at 9:19 pm

Turkish and Russian citizens collect donations for earthquake victims in Turkish provinces after 7.7 magnitude earthquake[Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency]

We have sent 80 tons of aid to Turkiye so far, Ankara’s Ambassador to Moscow, Mehmet Samsar, said on Wednesday, as deliveries of humanitarian aid continue to the quake-hit country, Anadolu News Agency reports.

“We have sent approximately 80 tons of aid materials to Turkiye, so far. This number is increasing every day. These include tents, heaters, sleeping bags, generators, various aid materials which are of urgent importance, and we are sending them gradually,” Samsar told Anadolu in an interview.

Samsar said Turkish and Azerbaijani citizens flocked to the Embassy with aid as soon as they heard of the earthquakes.

Samsar also said that two accounts were opened in Turkish banks operating in Russia so that people could make cash transfers.

“The number changes daily, but so far, more than $1 million in aid has been sent from here.”

He spoke fondly of children and their small acts of kindness.

“Yesterday, one of the children put chocolate and hazelnuts in the pocket of the coat he had brought to donate.”

Sometimes, children draw pictures and write messages for the victims.

“These are very emotional things. Some kids want to bring their toys and pass them on to their friends there.”

‘Approximately 350 people from Russia worked in Turkiye’

Samsar also evaluated search and rescue efforts from Russia, recalling that Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, held a phone conversation on the first day of the disaster.

“Putin called our President (Erdogan) to express his condolences and said that he would send help. In this context, Russian institutions took immediate action on the first day by sending three planes containing 150 search and rescue personnel and a field hospital, along with a medical team,” Samsar said.

Noting that the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry (EMERCOM) delivered a fire fighting plane to Turkiye to extinguish the fire that broke out at the port of Iskenderun on the same day, Samsar said that a total of 350 people from EMERCOM and the Russian Defence Ministry worked in Turkiye.

Samsar further said the Russian Defence Ministry sent 500 tents, 9,000 sleeping bags and 9,000 beds on two planes.

Aid campaign for earthquake victims continues

Samsar said that the aid campaign continues for the earthquake victims.

The country’s consulates in Kazan, St. Petersburg and Novorossiysk, in addition to the honorary consulates in Ufa and Yekaterinburg, are working non-stop.

He further said that Russian and Turkish people are traditionally close to each other, saying that the Russian people were one of the first who rushed to help.

READ: Photos of missing boys tied to tree highlight painful search for earthquake victims