Ankara has sent aid, medical supplies to countries badly hit by coronavirus epidemics, such as US, UK, Italy and Spain, as well as Balkan countries.

Cargo plane, prepared to deliver medical aid to United Kingdom takes off from Etimesgut Air Base in Ankara, Turkey on April 10, 2020.
Cargo plane, prepared to deliver medical aid to United Kingdom takes off from Etimesgut Air Base in Ankara, Turkey on April 10, 2020. (AA)

Turkey has sent aid and medical supplies to nearly 30 nations on five continents to support efforts against the Covid-19 pandemic.
It has sent supplies such as protective equipment and sanitiser to Balkan countries, as well as, Spain, Italy and the UK.
The nation’s presidential spokesperson last week said the country will also send medical aid to Israel and Palestine to help them battle the coronavirus.

The virus was first detected in China late last year. However, the epicentre has now shifted to the US and Europe, which lead to the number of cases and deaths.

Here is a list of some countries receiving aid from Turkey:

United Kingdom

A Turkish military cargo plane carrying medical supplies for use against the coronavirus pandemic arrived in the UK on Friday.

"At the direction of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Armed Forces aircraft that will transport to United Kingdom the medical aid supplies prepared by Turkey’s Health Ministry to be used in the fight against Covid-19 has departed Etimesgut/Ankara," the Turkish Defence Ministry said on Twitter.

The medical aid supplies also carried on a message for the people of the UK, saying: "After hopelessness, there is so much hope and after darkness, there is the much brighter sun – Rumi."

Another military cargo plane carrying second patch of medical aid arrived in the UK on Sunday.

The aid package carried to the UK by Turkey includes protective masks and overalls.

Libya

Turkey on Friday sent medical supplies to Libya to help fight the novel coronavirus, which has infected 1.6 million people worldwide and claimed nearly 96,000 lives in 185 countries.

"At the direction of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as part of the preventative measures against Covid-19 virus, medical supplies were sent to our Libyan brothers and our military training cooperation and consultancy teams who are on duty in the region," the country's National Defence Ministry said on Twitter.

Israel

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the Turkish government approved the sale of medical equipment to Israel which is expected to allow a shipment of Turkish aid to reach Palestinian authorities without any hold-ups, according to a senior Turkish official in Ankara. 

Israeli authorities weren’t immediately available for comment on Thursday, which is a public holiday in the country. 

Pakistan

A Turkish non-governmental organisation on Thursday distributed rations among needy people affected by a longstanding lockdown in the country.

Ration bags comprising flour, rice, sugar, oil and other essential commodities were provided to the needy people in garrison city of Rawalpindi by Stichting Internationale Humanitaire Hulporganisatie Nederland (IHH-NL) at a ceremony held at the office of Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA), said a statement.

Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul, Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi Anwarul Haq, Chairman RDA Tariq Mehmood Murtaza and Secretary IHH-NL Ikhlaqur Rahman also attended the ceremony.

The Turkish ambassador, in his remarks, said Ankara would not leave Pakistanis alone at this trying time.

Balkan states

Masks, overalls and test kits prepared by Turkey’s Health Ministry have been delivered to Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Kosovo.

A Turkish military cargo plane carrying medical supplies for use against the coronavirus pandemic arrived on Wednesday in five Balkan countries.

Serbia's capital, Belgrade, was the first destination for the Turkish aircraft coming from Turkey’s capital Ankara.

Serbian Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin and Turkey's Ambassador to Belgrade Tanju Bilgic received the aid at Nikola Tesla Airport.

Vulin there said that in such difficult times not only do friendly people and countries emerge, but also the future.

"In the most difficult times like this, we’re also building our future policy. Serbia will always remember those who helped it, what happened with it," said Vulin.

Vulin also thanked Turkey's President Erdogan for the medical assistance "reaching us at the right time".

Bilgic, for his part, said that with this assistance, Turkey wanted to show that it stands by Serbia in these difficult times.

The aid includes 100,000 protective masks, 2,000 protective suits, and 1,500 Covid-19 tests.

The boxes of aid bore the words of 13th-century poet Mevlana Rumi: "there is hope after despair and many suns after darkness" plus the message "with love from Turkey to the people of Serbia."

The plane's second stop after Serbia was Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Arriving at Sarajevo International Airport in the capital, Security Minister Fahrudin Radoncic received the aid together with Turkey's Ambassador to Sarajevo Haldun Koc.

The plane later proceeded to Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Kosovo.

Spain 

Spain confirmed on Wednesday the arrival of ventilators from Turkey.

"Respirators from Turkey are already in Spain. Unloading at the Barajas Airport," the Foreign Ministry said on Twitter while it shared images of a Turkish flagged plane with cargo.

Earlier in the day, the ministry also announced "150 ventilators from Turkey are already on the way, arriving tonight in Spain and to be delivered, as planned, to their final destinations, Castilla y La Mancha and Navarra" autonomous regions.

On April 3, speculations rocked Spanish media claiming Turkey "seized and blocked" medical cargo, including 150 respirators purchased by Spain amid Covid-19, intended for Spanish citizens.

The Spanish Ministry's statement denied the media's claims on April 4. Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya and her Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, later the same day in separate televised speeches, confirmed authorisation of the medical supply from Turkey.

The $3.3 million (€3 million) in medical aid purchased by Castilla y La Mancha and Navarra from a Turkish company was delayed due to restrictions on exports of medical supplies in Turkey that wanted all equipment to combat coronavirus inside the country.

Spain also received separate medical aid including masks from Turkey on April 1.

Italy

A Turkish military plane carrying medical aid landed in Italy, where coronavirus has caused record fatalities, officials said on April 1.

According to a statement from Turkey's National Defence Ministry, the plane took off from its first stop, Madrid in Spain to Italy.

The medical supplies include Turkey-made masks, protective gear and sanitisers.

Iran  

Turkey has delivered medical supplies and medicines to Iran amid the global coronavirus outbreak.

Medical aid sent by the Turkish Health Ministry and Iranians living in Turkey has reached the country’s capital, Tehran, Iran's Foreign Ministry said on March 26 in a statement.

Northern Cyprus 

Turkey provided $11 million (72 million Turkish liras) financial aid for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, the Turkish vice president said on March 21.

US

Turkey has sent 500,000 coronavirus test kits to the US upon their request, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on March 19.

In a speech to parliament, Koca said that Ankara aimed to increase rapidly its own testing within Turkey and had a target of carrying out 10,000 to 15,000 tests per day. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies