Thirteen EU countries mobilize to help Turkey in the wake of the earthquake

Thirteen European Union countries have already mobilized to assist Turkey with emergency teams in response to Monday’s powerful earthquake, the European Commission has confirmed, following the quake that has left more than 1,300 people dead in Turkey and Syria.

The EU has already mobilized rescue and search for survivors teams through the Civil Protection Mechanism, the instrument for coordinating European assistance to a Member State or a third country.

Assistance from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania is already confirmed and on its way, while Italy, Hungary, Spain, Malta and Slovakia have made their respective offers to the Turkish authorities, Crisis Management spokesman Balazs Ujvari told a press conference.

As part of the support to Ankara, the EU has activated the Copernicus satellite system to provide emergency mapping services and the EU is also ready to support those affected in Syria, as the Civil Protection Mechanism is activated upon specific requests from a country’s national authorities.

Earlier on Monday, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, expressed his condolences for the “devastating earthquake” of magnitude 7.4, a message joined by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, and the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola.

In the same vein, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed his “total solidarity” with Turkey, as an ally of the organization, and pointed out that NATO members are already in contact to provide assistance.

European leaders have shown solidarity with Turkey and Syria, assuring that they will send emergency assistance and participate in the rescue efforts. This is the case of the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, or the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, who said that London “is ready to help in any way possible”.

Speaking to the press, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that at least 912 people have died and 5,385 on Turkish territory after the earthquake, which he described as “the biggest disaster since the earthquake of 1939”.

The earthquake has also left 371 dead and 1,089 injured in Syrian government-controlled areas, according to data published by the Syrian Ministry of Health on its website. To these figures must be added about 220 dead and about 420 wounded in rebel-controlled areas in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, in the northwest of the Arab country, as indicated by the Syrian Civil Defense, known as ‘white helmets’, through its Twitter account.


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