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Strong international solidarity gives strength to Türkiye: Cavusoglu

Türkiye saw “strong international solidarity” following last month’s deadly earthquakes that shook the country’s southern provinces, the Turkish foreign minister has said. 

“We have a phrase ‘united we stand, united we are stronger’ and we believe in this. I do know that many European countries also use this phrase,”  Mevlut Cavusoglu said in his remarks made to the EU ambassadors to Türkiye and other European diplomats in Ankara on Thursday.

“Now, we are seeing strong international solidarity at a time of disaster we are going through. This support not only gives us morale but also gives us strength.” 

He said the primary agenda of the meeting with the diplomats is the February 6 earthquake, adding that there are citizens of other countries who also lost their lives in the massive earthquakes. 

“We have experienced a disaster that led to the major loss of life and destruction in our republic’s history. It is the extraordinary natural disaster to occur in a European country in a century,” he said. 

Calling for joint action on issues threatening humanity, Cavusoglu said that Türkiye has been “the most charitable country in the world according to its national income” as it “stood by anyone in need of help.”

Türkiye continues to heal from wounds inflicted by twin quakes one month on

Spirit of solidarity

Recalling his participation in the recent G-20 foreign ministers’ meeting in the Indian capital New Delhi and the 5th UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) in Qatar’s capital Doha, Cavusoglu said: “We have seen that all countries are on our side, from the most developed to the least developed countries.” 

“The European Union, with its member countries, candidate countries and institutions, has a great share in this support,” he added. 

The Turkish minister also thanked all countries that sent their officials on solidarity visits to Türkiye and its quake-hit regions. 

Noting that the EU’s emergency aid and search and rescue teams were dispatched to Türkiye immediately, Cavusoglu said that his country will “continue cooperation with EU in recovery and rebuilding processes in the upcoming period.” 

“Türkiye, of course, is an important country in our common home – Europe. Türkiye is either a neighbour, a commercial partner or an ally of many countries who are here today,” Cavusoglu said as he added that the “earthquake once again reminded us not only of our neighbourliness, friendship and alliance but also of our human ties.” 

He expressed hopes for this spirit of solidarity, alliance and friendship to “be reflected in all dimensions of Türkiye-EU relations in the coming period,” and said: “Regional and international developments show how important our cooperation is at the global level.” 

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Turkish, Greek defence chiefs discuss Türkiye quakes 

Turkish National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and his Greek counterpart Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos have discussed last month’s powerful earthquakes in Türkiye’s southern region that claimed the lives of at least 46,104 people. 

In a phone call, Panagiotopoulos reiterated his condolences for the earthquake victims, the Turkish National Defence Ministry said in a statement. 

Akar, for his part, thanked Panagiotopoulos for his condolence message and for the solidarity shown by Greece. 

During the “constructive and positive” phone call, the ministers agreed to develop an agenda based on good neighbourly relations between the two neighbouring countries, according to the statement. 

On February 6, the magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes struck 11 provinces — Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Hatay, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa. More than 13.5 million people in Türkiye have been affected by the devastating quakes, as well as many others in northern Syria. 

Condolences have poured in from around the world, expressing solidarity with Türkiye, with many countries sending rescue teams and aid, including Greece.

Locals of Türkiye’s quake-hit Antakya vow to resurrect 2,500-year-old city

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