Turkish Ambassador H.E. Tuba Nur Sonmez, held a press conference last week to express her gratitude to the Kuwaiti government and its people for their support following the earthquake that hit southern Turkey. She emphasized that the ties between the two nations have grown beyond political and economic relations to become fraternal, as evidenced by the aid and assistance provided by Kuwaiti authorities and citizens to those affected by the earthquake.
It was revealed that nine Kuwaiti military planes, each carrying around 100 tons of relief material as well as rescue and shelter equipment, have flown to cities in Turkey since the devastating earthquakes. There are also around 400 tons of aid donated by the Kuwaiti people lying in the embassy’s warehouses that are awaiting dispatch to Turkey.
The ambassador commended the generosity of the Kuwaiti people and their cash donations and noted that contributions by charitable organizations were considerable. The ambassador also mentioned that some Kuwaitis who own property in Turkey offered their homes to those affected by the earthquake free of charge.
She added that the Turkish community in Kuwait was also cooperative and participated in organizing and mobilizing aid in Turkey. About 200 volunteers participated in these efforts. Regarding the reconstruction of the affected areas, the envoy stated that it would take approximately a year, but she said Turkey is a strong country that will emerge from this ordeal, and that the elections will be as scheduled. She also praised the international support that Turkey has received in the aftermath of the disaster.
The earthquakes that struck southeastern Turkey on 6 February had a magnitude of 7.7 and 7.6, with a third strong earthquake (magnitude 6.4) hitting Hatay on 20 February with a total of 7,242 aftershocks. The earthquakes affected a vast area with a total population of 13.5 million, with 10 provinces experiencing earthquakes. The Turkish Ministry of Health reported that 42,310 citizens lost their lives, and 105,505 others were injured.
The Turkish government has mobilized all its emergency response capabilities, and ongoing rescue efforts in the affected areas have been complemented by international support. Currently, over 250,000 personnel are working in the field, including volunteers, with assistance provided by 102 countries, and 3,200 foreign search and rescue personnel from different nations are on the ground.