Turkey thanks PH for pledge of aid, search and rescue team

Manila, Philippines – The Turkish government on Tuesday expressed gratitude to the Philippines for pledging to send a search and rescue team to Türkiye where death toll due to Monday’s massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake has already reached over 5,000.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said Manila will deploy a contingent that will conduct search, rescue, relief and other assistance to the quake-hit state.

Turkish Ambassador to the Philippines Niyazi Evren Akyol said the Turkish Embassy will help facilitate the contingent’s departure “at the earliest time”.

“The Embassy of the Republic of Türkiye expresses its sincerest gratitude regarding the decision of President H.E. Marcos Jr, concerning the deployment of a search, rescue, relief and other assistance to Türkiye. We are moved by the generosity of the Government and the People of the Philippines in our time of need,” he said in a statement.

“This act of solidarity will surely strengthen the already solid bonds of friendship and cooperation between our countries,” he added.

Elsewhere in Ankara, the Philippine Embassy in Türkiye lowered the Philippine flag at half-mast as it joined the international community in mourning the deaths after the Monday catastrophe.

“Our deepest condolences goes out to the families and loved ones of all those affected in Kahramanmaraş, Gaziantep, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adıyaman, Malatya, Şanlıurfa, Adana, Diyarbakır, and Kilis,” it said.

Turkey Vice President Fuat Oktay says 5,894 have been confirmed dead in their country thus far.

REuters on the other hand reported that death toll stands at 1,932 in Syria qutoing figures given by the Damascus government as well as rescuers in the insurgent-held northwest.

There are no Filipino fatalities but two were reportedly wounded, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza on Tuesday night quoted the Philippine embassy as saying the two “are ok as of now”.