Turkey asks Israel for aid
Two days after devastating earthquake, Ankara submits requests with Jerusalem for transfer of mobile homes to disaster-stricken area. Meanwhile, quake servivors direct anger at Erdogan, say 'prime minister almost goes to war with Israel for sake of Palestinians, but doesn't move a muscle for us'
The Turkish Foreign Ministry submitted an official request with Jerusalem for the transfer of mobile housing units. The request was transferred from the Turkish Foreign Ministry to the Israeli Embassy in Ankara, which immediately notified the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.
- Diplomats: Turkey disaster won't boost relations
Israeli volunteers prepare to aid Turkey Officials: Turkish quake toll reaches 432
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman instructed the Ministry's Director-General Rafael Barak to transfer the necessary equipment as soon as possible.
As of now, Turkey has not requested aid in the form of manpower.
Watch 2-week-old baby rescued from rubble
Immediately after the earthquake struck on Sunday Lieberman instructed his office to prepare to send aid to Turkey. President Shimon Peres also called his Turkish counterpart Abduallah Gul in order to offer Israel's assistance. However, Ankara rejected the bid.
Turkey has been showered with offers of outside help since the quake, but at first only accepted help from neighbouring Iran, Bulgaria and Azerbaijan. However, a foreign ministry official said on Tuesday that it had now requested prefabricated housing and tents from more than 30 countries.
"Given the sensitive situation, this is a good step forward," an Israeli official involved in the affair told Ynet. "In these situations you put all the problems and politics aside. We hope everything is carried out as planned," he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Turkish officials said the death toll has reached 432, adding that 1,352 people were injured in Sunday's quake.
There was still no power or running water and aid distribution was disrupted as desperate people stopped trucks even before they entered Ercis. Aid workers said they were able to find emergency housing for only about half the people who needed it.
'Erdogan helps Palestine, but not his own people'
Meanwhile, fighting broke out among Turkish earthquake survivors on Tuesday as homeless families scrambled for tents after enduring two nights of biting cold under whatever shelter they can find.
Not enough housing units. Tent city for quake survivors (Photo: Reuters)
Complaints about poor tent distribution have been rife since Sunday's quake destroyed thousands of homes and made many others uninhabitable, and anger among the destitute is being directed at Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.
Red Crescent tent distribution gets chaotic (Photo: EPA)
Survivors, many of whom have been forced to huddle round small fires in the open, accused Erdogan of putting international diplomacy before his own citizens.
"There is absolutely no coordination, you have to step on people to get a tent. The Prime Minister should take care of his own people before going to Somalia and Libya," said jobless 18-year-old Suleyman Akbulut.
"The prime minister runs for help when it's Palestine or Somalia, sends ships to Palestine, almost goes into war with Israel for the sake of Palestinians, but he doesn't move a muscle when it comes to his own people," said Emrullah, an 18-year-old from Van.
"He rejects aid offers from around the world, but we need tents here," Emrullah said before the announcement of the international request for help.
Attila Somfalvi and Yoav Zitun contributed to this story
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