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MEA Secretary West Sanjay Verma (ANI)
MEA Secretary West Sanjay Verma (ANI)

India under 'Operation Dost' deployed 2 Turkish-speaking officers, 4 MEA personnel in Turkey

ANI | Updated: Feb 08, 2023 20:10 IST

New Delhi [India], February 8 (ANI): India under 'Operation Dost' has provided assistance to Turkey and deployed two Turkish-speaking officers, four MEA personnel in the wake of the quake-hit country, the Ministry of External Affairs Ministry said Wednesday.
"MEA has deployed two Turkish-speaking officers from overseas who flew into Turkey and are stationed there. We have also deployed four MEA personnel to cooperate and help in the operation and coordinate between the Turkish authorities and our teams, "MEA Secretary West Sanjay Verma said during the special briefing on 'Operation Dost.'
"We have also set up a control room in Adana. The consul general from Istanbul and other officials from our mission in Ankara are all stationed on the ground in the affected areas," the MEA Secretary said.
India has extended humanitarian support to Turkey after it was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday which ripped through Turkey and Syria, followed by a series of aftershocks that caused huge devastation, loss of lives and damage to infrastructure in both countries. According to the latest estimates, nearly 10,000 people have lost their lives in both countries.
He termed the recent earthquakes as the 'biggest natural disaster' that had hit Turkey since 1939.
"We received an email from the Turkish side for assistance. Within 12 hours of the meeting, the first Search and Rescue (SAR) flights left from Delhi to Turkey," the MEA Secretary said during the briefing.
"Thereafter, four such flights have been sent to Turkey, two of them were carrying NDRF teams and two carrying medical teams. One aircraft carrying medical supplies and equipment was sent to Syria," the Secretary added.
He further informed that as on February 6, an earthquake struck the southern part of Turkey and Syria and multiple reports kept escalating the magnitude of the tragedy and affecting 10 provinces but 7 of them are in severe condition and about 435 aftershocks occurred.
He said that in Turkey, 8,574 people were killed and 49,133 were injured and 6,444 buildings collapsed while in Syria, the death toll climbed to 1,262 and 2,285 sustained injuries.
While giving the details about the medical assistance that India is providing to Turkey and Syria, National Disaster Response Force DG Atul Karwal said that under 'Operation Dost,' the first team landed at Adana airport and the second was diverted to Urfa because Adana was crowded. Both of them are being converged at Nurdagi which is in Gaziantep Province, one of the worst affected areas.
"The third team's requirement was sent to us. It was under preparation in Varanasi and was airlifted and brought to Delhi today. I met them at Hindon Airport. In the next few hours, they would depart with 51 rescuers, a canine complement and 4 vehicles," Karwal said.
"We have more teams in reserve because we don't know how many more teams will be required. The damage is extensive across a very large area and we are prepared to render whatever help any additional teams that India can provide to Turkey in this time of crisis," he added.

Meanwhile,External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that India is providing materials, supplies, medical supplies, and equipment, to Syria as well as sending search and rescue teams to Turkey under 'Operation Dost'.
"Under #OperationDost, India is sending search and rescue teams, a field hospital, materials, medicines and equipment to Turkiye and Syria. This is an ongoing operation and we would be posting updates," Jaishankar tweeted. (ANI)