A team of rescuers and relief workers from Delhi landed in Turkey on Tuesday morning. An Indian Air Force plane C-17 with members of NDRF teams, dog squads, search and rescue equipment, extrication tools, and vehicles is reaching Turkey by Tuesday night. More batches of relief supplies are on standby and will be sent to quake-affected regions soon.
The call to send assistance to Turkey was taken at the highest level. As the world grappled with the huge scale of loss and destruction, on the instructions of Prime Minister Modi, principal secretary PK Mishra held a meeting on Monday to discuss immediate relief measures. The government decided to immediately send search and rescue teams of NDRF and medical teams along with relief materials. Two teams of NDRF comprising 100 personnel with specially trained dog squads and necessary equipment are ready to be flown to the earthquake-hit area for search and rescue operations. Medical teams are also being readied with trained doctors and paramedics with essential medicines.
“This swift reaction from the Indian side is very, very important, because it’s a matter of life and death, and we really appreciate very much the contribution and support from the Indian side," said the Turkish envoy in Delhi, Firat Sunel.
Minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan met Sunel on Monday and expressed India’s solidarity with the people of Turkey in this hour of natural calamity. He tweeted: “Visited Embassy of Türkiye to express condolences on the devastation caused by today’s earthquakes. Conveyed PM @narendramodi’s message of sympathy & humanitarian support. Underscored readiness to send relief material, as well as NDRF & medical teams to assist Türkiye.”
Expressing gratitude, the Turkish envoy said, “Dost is a word that we use in Hindi language and Turkish language both and there is a Turkish proverb also that means ‘A friend in need is a friend Indeed’."
The friendship that has come to the fore, has been a work in progress for a long time. The major thrust has come in recent years with PM Modi and President Erdogan’s frequent meetings and acknowledging the fact that the India-Turkey partnership doesn’t reflect the true potential of current times.
India’s economic engagement with Türkiye has acquired new momentum with India-Türkey trade crossing USD 10 billion in 2021-22. President Erdogan had paid a state visit to India in 2017. PM Modi had attended the G20 Summit held in Antalya in November 2015. PM Modi and President Erdogan held a bilateral meeting in Hangzhou in September 2016 on the sidelines of the G20 Summit then in Johannesburg on the sidelines of BRICS Plus meeting in July 2018 and in Osaka in June 2019 on the sidelines of G-20.
During PM Narendra Modi’s bilateral meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last year in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on the sidelines of the SCO Summit, both leaders reviewed India-Türkiye relations and underlined the increase in economic relations, particularly bilateral trade, that has taken flight in recent years while acknowledging the potential for further enhancement of economic and commercial linkages.
Hours after the announcement of the disaster-relief response to earthquake-hit Turkey, the Indian Army has mobilised a field hospital to provide medical support to the affected people in the region. Agra-based Army Field Hospital has dispatched an 89-member medical team comprising critical care specialists. The teams are equipped with X-ray machines, ventilators, oxygen-generation plant, cardiac monitors, and associated equipment to establish a 30-bedded medical facility.
Two major quakes in less than 24 hours have sent millions of people in Turkey in deep distress. The tragedy has been equally disastrous in parts of Syria and Lebanon along the southern border of Turkey, leaving hundreds dead and thousands homeless.
Read all the Latest India News here