Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu visited the city of Petrinja on Friday, saying that Turkey, which was one of the first countries to send relief aid to the quake-affected areas in Croatia, was willing to continue helping this region.
Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman thanked Turkey for the rapid response and delivery of generous humanitarian assistance.
Immediately after the 29 December 6.2 strong quake in Sisak-Moslavina County, which claimed seven lives and caused extensive damage, Turkey sent 272 heaters and 480 tents to the affected region.
The Turkish minister recalled that after Izmir was hit by a 7.0 strong quake on 30 October last year, resulting in hundreds of casualties, Minister Grlić Radman had immediately contacted him to offer assistance.
With that dose of understanding and friendship, we then wanted to be the first to come to your aid, Cavusoglu said. He conveyed Ankara’s readiness to help Croatia in future reconstruction projects in this area.
The Turkish official added that his country lies in a seismically active region and has gained experience in dealing with the aftermath of such disasters.
In August 1999, a 7.6 strong quake hit the city of Izmit and killed 17,000 people. In 2011, an earthquake left more than 500 people killed in the city of Van.
We shared this destiny with you in a sad and sorrowful way, Cavusogly said.
Ankara has sent 10 experts from the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) to Croatia.
Furthermore, 200 prefab housing containers have been delivered from Turkey to Croatia, said Minister Tomo Medved, who heads the task force dealing with the aftermath of the 29 December quake.
Medved expressed gratitude and said he was sure that Croatia and Turkey would continue fostering their friendship.
In the Šešerin container settlement, Cavusoglu handed keys to the donated containers.
Grlić Radman described the donation as a strong form of solidarity.
Cavusoglu is the first Turkish foreign minister to visit Croatia after 12 years.
Turkish assistance also included the donation of 500 blankets, hygienic articles and food as well financial assistance from several Turkish companies.