Turkey has been closely following the developments in Libya and, within this context, has ensured the evacuation of its citizens and foreigners in distress. Moreover, Turkey has also made preparations to provide Libya with humanitarian assistance.
In order to alleviate the difficulties endured by the Libyan people with whom she shares a common history spanning 500 years, as well as deep-rooted historical and cultural ties, Turkey has decided, with the United Arab Emirates which is motivated by similar humanitarian considerations, to undertake a joint humanitarian assistance operation. The operation envisages the ferrying of humanitarian relief material to Benghazi. It has been brought together under the coordination of the Department for Disaster and Emergency Management under the Prime Ministry and the involvement of numerous institutions and agencies, including our Ministry. The Turkish Red Crescent has assumed responsibility for assembling the relief material, its transportation to Benghazi and distribution within Libya.
The assistance will be transported with two cargo ships that have set sail from the port of Mersin with Benghazi as the port of destination. The ships, accompanied by a frigate provided by the Turkish Naval Forces, are expected to reach Benghazi on Monday, 14 March 2011.
Under the relief operation, approximately 4 million US Dollars’ worth humanitarian assistance, including 32 tons of medicine and medical equipment, 388 tons of basic foodstuffs, 2.000 tents, 20.000 blankets, 72 tons of drinking water, two ambulant kitchens as well as a mobile bakery able to produce 10.000 loaves of bread per day, is being dispatched to Libya. Moreover, a Red Crescent team of 13 persons, as well as a 16-strong team from the UAE are proceeding to Libya with the ships in order to oversee the distribution of the relief material, to provide certain basic services, and also to reach out, if necessary, to regions beyond Benghazi.
Furthermore, a Ministry of Health medical team, composed of an orthopedist, a surgeon, an anesthesiologist and a medical assistant, are also heading to Libya.
This humanitarian assistance is not aimed towards a specific group or region, but towards the entire Libyan nation. We aim, circumstances permitting, at having our assistance continue to flow into Libya and reach regions in need throughout the country.
Turkey will continue to stand by the Libyan people.