Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's foreign policy adviser, İbrahim Kalın, took a different tone to what he usually has against Greece and instead expressed his thanks for the country's active support of Turkey after the deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday, which has cost more than 20,000 lives.
In particular, Kalın, responding to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' Twitter message in Turkish, wrote on Friday: "Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for all your support."
Sayın Başbakan. Tüm destekleriniz için teşekkür ediyoruz.
— İbrahim Kalın (@ikalin1) February 10, 2023
Moreover, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu spoke on the phone with Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Christos Stylianides late Thursday to thank him for the humanitarian aid that Greece has sent to the quake-stricken people of Turkey.
Çavuşoğlu also asked Stylianides to convey his thanks to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the Greek people.
The Turkish foreign minister noted that this aid was very substantial and not symbolic, as all the items included in the Greek aid consignment fully corresponded to the reality in the country and Turkey's needs in order to address the huge problems created by the powerful earthquake.
On his part, Stylianides told Çavuşoğlu that, as the prime minister has pledged, Greece will be at Turkey's side for as long as it is needed.
Turkish authorities’ response to the massive earthquakes in the country’s south is not moving as fast as the government wanted, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday, adding that the death toll in the country had now climbed to 18,991.
Speaking in Adiyaman province, which was also hit by the earthquakes, Erdoğan said some people were stealing from markets and attacking businesses, adding that a state of emergency declared in the area will allow the state to impose the necessary penalties.
Pressure is mounting on the UN to provide urgent support to north-west Syria, which is yet to receive meaningful aid five days after the earthquake that devastated the region, and with the chance of finding any survivors beneath the rubble almost gone.
One convoy of six UN lorries entered the opposition-held part of the country from Turkey on Thursday carrying blankets and basic supplies, but that had been arranged before the disaster that has killed at least 3,500 people in Syria and left thousands more buried under rubble.
Syrian rescue teams and citizens of the region say the quake has created conditions not seen at any point during 12 years of war and that death toll will continue to increase if the UN – the world’s leading relief agency – does not find a way to expedite aid delivery.
Reuters is reporting that the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, is in Aleppo to pay his first visit to a quake-affected area of the country.
Images shared by his office showed Assad and his wife at Aleppo university hospital, visiting people who were injured in the devastating earthquake which has killed thousands.
Earlier this week, his regime was accused of playing politics with aid after the Syrian ambassador to the UN, Bassam Sabbagh, said his country should be responsible for the delivery of all aid into Syria, including those areas not under Syrian government control.
Turkey has postponed a natural gas summit, due to be held on 14-15 February, until 22 March, an energy official said on Friday.
Setting up a gas hub in Turkey was first proposed by Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, after explosions damaged Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea.
Turkey imports all its gas and has extensive liquid natural gas (LNG) import infrastructure. Ankara believes it can leverage its existing and new trade relations to become a gas hub.
Turkey also plans to start offshore gas production this year and ramp-up output over the next few years.
Separately, the Kremlin said on Thursday that the implementation of the Turkish hub had been delayed.
Some western capitals were concerned that a Turkish hub including Russian gas could allow Moscow to mask exports that are sanctioned by the west over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.