Nov 13 2017

Turkey sends aid to earthquake-hit KRG

Turkey has set politics aside and sent multiple aid convoys to relieve the earthquake-hit area of Iraq held by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), according to the Associated Press.

The magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the Iran-Iraq border near the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja at around 1:50 am on Monday, killing at least 328 people according to Iranian authorities.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said his country had taken immediate action to provide medical and food aid to northern Iraq. Kerem Kınık, president of the Turkish Red Crescent, told The Associated Press from the Habur border gate that 33 aid trucks were en route to the Iraqi city of Sulaimaniyah, carrying 3,000 tents and heaters, 10,000 beds and blankets as well as food.

The Turkish military said a cargo plane transporting aid and emergency personnel had arrived in Iraq and Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency reported multiple dispatches by the country’s disaster agency.

Turkey’s formerly good relationship with the KRG was damaged when the region’s government held a referendum on independence in September, despite Turkish objections.

Turkey’s emergency help may, however, allow ties to regain some of their former warmth: a flashback to the Greek-Turkish “earthquake diplomacy” of 1999.

 

 

Some on Twitter compared Turkey's wide response favourably to that of the Iraqi federal government: