Turkish envoy calls India ‘dost’, thanks for sending relief aid


Terming India as a ‘dost’ of his country, Turkey’s ambassador Firat Sunel has thanked the Indian government for sending relief material and rescue teams to help earthquake victims in the west Asian nation.

“Dost is a common word in Turkish and Hindi… We have a Turkish proverb: “Dost kara günde belli olur” (a friend in need is a friend indeed). Thank you very much,” Firat Sunel posted on Twitter.

Turkey has suffered extensive damage after three devastating earthquakes struck the country within a span of 24 hours.

Hours after the earthquakes, Union Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V Muraleedharan visited Turkey’s embassy in India and expressed condolences. He also conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sympathy and humanitarian support.

According to an ANI report, an Indian contingent comprising 101 members of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rescuers, including five women personnel and a four-member canine squad, reached Turkey on Tuesday for rescue and rehabilitation operations.

The contingent is led by Commanding Officer Gurminder Singh of NDRF’s 2nd Battalion in Kolkata. the whole contingent of 101 rescuers will start their operations in a coordinated way as per directions of the Indian Embassy in Turkey and local authorities.

“Government of India decided to render all possible help (to Turkey) in this time of crisis. The NDRF is also sending some vehicles with both the teams because we are told that vehicle providing of transportation by the local authorities might be an issue. So we are sending them with vehicles,” NDRF Director General Atul Karwal was quoted as saying by ANI.

“Aside from that, all rescuers of NDRF have the medical first responder training to provide first aid to all the victims that we rescued before they are sent to the hospital.

“We are in regular contact with the Indian Embassy in Turkey, and they have deployed a liaison officer with English-speaking abilities to us to live with the local authorities,” he added.

“So, now it will be up to the local authorities to decide where they will deploy us. Depending on the crisis and they will be most useful,” the NDRF DG said, adding “as I am informed the first deployment site is close to the Adana airport and they will tell us where to start operating as soon as we reach there.”

A massive earthquake, 7.8 magnitudes on Richter Scale, ripped through Turkey and Syria on February 6, followed by a series of high magnitute tremors causing houses and high rises reducing to rubble, leaving over 4,000 people dead and rendering scores of men, women and children homeless.

At least 100 aftershocks measuring 4.0 or greater have hit Turkey since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the southern parts of the country in the Eurasian plateau on Monday morning local time.
The 5.5 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey’s Golbasi town located in the Central Anatolia region of Ankara Province, reported the United States Geological Survey.