Prime minister says aid convoy dispatched to northern Iraq Turkey pledged its support to the victims of Sunday’s earthquake on the Iran-Iraq border, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Monday.
The prime minister said the government had sent a convoy of medical and food aid and wished a speedy recovery to those affected.
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry expressed Turkey’s “solidarity” with the people of Iran and Iraq.
It said Turkey was “greatly saddened” by casualties. “The Turkish people… are in solidarity with the people of Iran and Iraq,” the ministry said.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also spoke with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif over the phone on Monday, according to a diplomatic source.
Cavusoglu offered his condolences and said Turkey was ready to provide "all means of help" to Iran, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.
Cavusoglu, speaking to reporters in Istanbul on Monday, said Turkey's two leading aid organizations would help earthquake victims in northern Iraq.
Deliveries would be carried out from the regional warehouses of the Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay) and Turkey's Disaster Management Agency (AFAD), he said.
He also said medical teams from the health ministry were about to arrive in Sulaymaniyah province of northern Iraq.
Turkey sends help to quake victims in northern Iraq
Recalling Turkey's stance in the illegitimate referendum on independence for the Kurdish region of Iraq, Cavusoglu said now was the time for humanitarian support.
"...So far, we have made every kind of support to Iraqi people indiscriminately. We see them as our brothers," Cavusoglu said.
The 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit around 32 kilometers (20 miles) southwest of the Iraqi city of Halabja at 9.15 p.m. Iraqi time (1815GMT), the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Iran’s Fars news agency reported at least 328 people dead and around 4,000 others injured, with most casualties taking place in the city of Kermanshah. The death toll is expected to rise.
Iraq’s Interior Ministry said seven people were killed and 321 injured in the north of the country.