The Defense Ministry is continuing in its operation to provide humanitarian aid to thousands of survivors from the Turkish earthquake that hit the eastern region of Van earlier this week.
At least two more cargo flights carrying at least 7 mobile homes and additional aid requested by Turkey are expected to take off for Ankara this weekend.
- 'Aid won't change Israel-Turkey relations'
First shipment of aid from Israel heading to Turkey
- Turkey asks Israel for aid
In order to ease and speed up the procedures, the mobile homes have already been assembled in Israel so that they can be utilized immediately upon unloading. These structures will be remaining in Turkey and will not be returned to Israel.
Mobile home units head to Turkey (Photo: Defense Ministry Spokesman)
On Tuesday Israel sent the first aid shipment which included five mobile five mobile units, 2,000 fleece coats, 2,000 fleece blankets and 100 inflatable mattresses. The shipment reached Van on Thursday.
At this stage, Turkey has said that it is not interested in receiving any medical or search and rescue manpower from Israel and the flights do not include an Israeli delegation other than the flight crew itself. The aid is being transferred through the few Israeli diplomats still remaining in Turkey following the expulsion of Ambassador Gabi Levi following the Gaza flotilla crisis.
The Defense Ministry is preparing for the possibility that Turkey will request additional aid shipments and is setting aside a more significant number of mobile home units and equipment. Should Ankara request a more significant aid contribution, then the aid will be loaded up and shipped via cargo ships.
Meanwhile, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal stated that there was no change in Turkey's demands from Israel following Israel's earthquake aid offer – including an apology over the Gaza flotilla incident. "We do not mix humanitarian issues and political issues, he stressed.
Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu noted that the Israel's enlistment in the earthquake aid efforts would not lead to a change in relations and that the conditions placed by Turkey for the restoration of diplomatic ties still stand.
The earthquake death toll has risen to 570, with 2,555 people injured, the Disaster and Emergency Administration said on Friday.
AFP contribute to the report
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