Turkey accepts earthquake assistance from Cyprus after initially rejecting offer

Turkey earthquake

Turkey has accepted earthquake assistance from Cyprus after it controversially rejected the offer from Nicosia.

Ankara first refused the offer by the Republic of Cyprus to send a rescue team to help with post-earthquake efforts, according to the Director General of the Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kornelios S. Korneliou.

Speaking on the Sigma Mesimeri and Kati Show, Korneliou said on February 7 that as soon as the EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated, the Republic of Cyprus expressed its readiness to contribute to the mission of the rescue team.

"We got the answer from Turkey, 'Thank you but we won't take it'," he said. "There is the issue of non-recognition and it seems that in matters of natural disasters and human tragedies, the political position often prevails."

Demetris Demetriou, spokesperson of the Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Twitter that the offer from Nicosia has now been accepted by Turkey.

"The Republic of Cyprus was recently informed by the European Civil Protection Mechanism that the offer of Cyprus to send a rescue team was accepted by Turkey," he wrote.

Meanwhile, the Pancyprian Volunteerism Coordinative Council launched a nationwide fundraising campaign to support the earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria, reported Financial Mirror.

Financial contributions collected will be allocated to cover the individual needs of each country in cooperation with the competent authorities of the state.

The office of the Citizens’ Commissioner supports the solidarity campaign for those affected by the deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

Two bank accounts (Bank of Cyprus – 357015667368, Hellenic Bank – 105-11-137244-01) have been set up for people to deposit contributions, while those interested can contact the Council at 22514786 and [email protected].

The Office of the Citizens’ Commissioner, in coordination with the Foreign Ministry and other relevant state agencies, will announce additional measures and ways in which the state will assist quake victims.

And the Foreign Ministry has contacted 12 of the 14 Cypriot nationals for whom there was registered residence information in Turkey through the Connect2CY platform.

During the communication, it was found that all were in good health and safe.

But Turkish Cypriot students staying in a hotel in the city of Adiyaman, which was affected by the earthquake, are still unaccounted for.

Nicosia said it has offered help and is ready to contribute to the rescue effort when called on.

“The Republic of Cyprus, through the European Civil Protection Mechanism, made a light rescue team available to assist the rescue efforts.

“This offer was rejected, as the needs, at least at this stage, require the immediate dispatch of heavy-duty specialised rescue teams,” said a ministry statement.

On Wednesday, a coordination meeting will be held at the Foreign with the participation of the Citizen’s Commissioner, the Ministry of Health, the Red Cross and the Pan-Cypriot Volunteer Coordinating Council.

Practical ways of supporting those affected in Turkey and Syria will be examined.

READ MORE: Greece is "immediately" sending humanitarian aid to Syria.

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