Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan has said that India stands ready to extend support to the people of earthquake-hit Turkey.
Muraleedharan made the remarks at the Hindon Airbase in Ghaziabad from where Indian Air Force’s C17 Globemaster aircraft with medical equipment, ration and relief equipment took off for Turkey, as part of the ongoing ‘Operation Dost.’
Speaking to ANI, Muraleedharan said that there are four teams working on the ground in Turkey, including two rescue teams, dog squads and two medical teams. He said that India has already opened a field hospital in Turkey.
“India has already sent four teams including two rescue teams of NDRF and two teams for medical assistance. Today, the third team of NDRF is taking off for Turkey along with a dog squad, medicines, blankets, four wheelers,” Muraleedharan said.
He further said, “India stands ready to extend support to the people of Turkey in this hour of grief. India has always been coming to the help of people across the world and humanitarian assistance has been provided in various countries across the world. So this is another such an example.”
Muraleedharan said that India continues to stand with the people of Turkey. He said that India would assess the situation and do the needful if any further assistance is required.
“We stand with the people of Turkey and we hope that if any further assistance is required we will be assessing that and doing the needful. So the armed Forces medical team is already there,” Muraleedharan said.
Speaking on PM Modi’s instructions regarding the assistance provided by India, he said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday itself instructed all the concerned authorities to take the required steps for providing assistance to the people who have been affected in the earthquake in Turkey. He has personally expressed his anguish at the incidents. The External Affairs Minister Jaishankar have spoken to his counterparts.”
Speaking about his meeting with the Ambassador of Turkey to India Firat Sunel, Muraleedharan said that he conveyed PM Narendra Modi’s condolence message and offered India’s support for the people of Turkey.
Muraleedharan said that the Ambassador of Turkey to India called India a “true friend” as it is helping Turkey in the need of the hour. Speaking about the Operation’s name, Muraleedharan said, “Turkey’s Ambassador has said that friend in the Turkish language is called ‘Dost’. He stated that the people who come forward in these critical situations are called dost. That is why the operation is called Dost.”
Speaking to ANI, “Turkey’s Ambassador to India told me personally that India is the first nation to come forward with a huge quantity of relief material. Turkish Ambassador said that India is a true friend of India.”
He further said, “With regards to India’s G20 Presidency, PM Modi has given the message of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam One World, One Family, One Future. We are implementing the message.”
Lauding the Armed Forces, IAF and NDRF for their efforts in the rescue operation, he said, “I would like to congratulate the armed forces, the Indian Air Force and the NDRF who has come to the rescue to be part of the rescue operations.”
Meanwhile, Ambassador of Turkey to India Firat Sunel, who was also present at the Hindon Airbase in Ghaziabad, termed Operation Dost a “very important operation.” He stated that Operation Dost demonstrates the friendship between India and Turkey.
Speaking to ANI, Firat Sunel said, “Operation DOST is a very important operation. And this is the operation of friendship because DOST is the word in Hindi and Turkish which means friends. And this operation shows our friendship between India and Turkey and friends always help each other.”
He further said, “I remember two years ago in 2021, I was exactly in this airplane and Turkey sent two aircraft loaded with COVID medical assistance. Now, after two years now we have two huge devastating earthquakes in Turkey and India is sending search and rescue teams in Turkey. So, real friends help each other if they are in need.”
Earlier on Wednesday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that India is providing materials, supplies, medical supplies, and equipment, to Syria as well as sending search and rescue teams to Turkey under ‘Operation Dost’.
India is extending its support to Turkey through the ongoing crisis after earthquakes jolted the country on February 6. Earthquakes of 7.7 and 7.6 magnitudes on the richter scale, ripped through Turkey and Syria on February 6, followed by a series of aftershocks that caused huge devastation, loss of lives and damage to infrastructure in the two countries.