Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, ordered the Israeli defense system to send a special aid delegation to Turkey in response to the recent earthquake, on Tuesday (October 25) after the offer was accepted by the Turkish authorities.
The assistance will focus on temporary buildings necessary for the rehabilitation of people rescued and evacuated at disaster sites in Turkey, as well as essential field hospital structures. Israeli Air Force aircraft are currently preparing to transfer these buildings.
The Turkish request was transferred via the Israeli Consul stationed in Ankara.
A prefabricated home sent by Israel is loaded off an Israeli cargo plane at Ankara airport
before being transported to the earthquake zone, Oct 27, 2011 (Photo: Reuters)
Two days ago Defense Minister Barak already spoke to Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad, Director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs of the Israeli Defense Ministry, offering Turkish authorities any assistance needed in dealing with the earthquake that took place in eastern Turkey. In response, the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz instructed the IDF to prepare for the possibility of a search and rescue aid delegation sent to Turkey. The Home Font Command prepared the relevant forces.
Minister for Home Front Defense, Matan Vilani, offered Turkey assistance. The Minister spoke with the Home Front Command Chief, Maj. Gen, Eyal Eizenberg regarding IDF preparations for the an aid delegation sent to the area.
Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu spoke with his Turkish counterpart expressing his condolences for the deaths and damage caused by the earthquake. Israeli President, Shimon Peres, spoke with Abdullah Gul, his Turkish counterpart, expressing his condolences and offering assistance from Israel.
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Follow-up (February 2012):
During a visit by the Israeli aid delegation to the Van district in February 2012, local university rector Prof. Dr. Mehmet Yozar and district Vice-Governor Ahmet Kazankyeh conducted a tour of the area for the Israeli delegation. The latter said: "After the harsh quake that occurred here, you came, you the Israelis, with a lot of material and a lot of willingness to help. And for this I thank you very much, from the bottom of my heart." He added, "You are our true friends, and the proof is what we see here. Only true friends can help so quickly and with such concern for their partners."
Prof. Yozar said that more than 800 students will now be able to inhabit the structures provided by Israel to the locals after the earthquake. "Thanks to these structures we will be able to put life back on track here. We will finally be able to re-house the families and students that left right after the disaster."
Israel transported a total of 50 mobile structures and 80 housing structures. The construction work is expected to be completed by mid-March.