New Delhi: India is set to receive Covid relief aid from Turkey under the “instructions” of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is sending two military aircraft with oxygen concentrators, ventilators and medicines among other supplies.
Both the Turkish aircraft will reach Delhi late Wednesday, according to the Turkish Ministry of National Defence.
“Under the instructions of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, our two aircraft have departed from Ankara’s Etimesgut Airport with health materials for tackling #COVID19 to be delivered to India,” the ministry tweeted Tuesday.
Our nation’s helping hand reaches out to India 🇹🇷 🇮🇳
Under the instructions of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, our two aircrafts have departed from Ankara’s Etimesgut Airport with health materials for tackling #COVID19 to be delivered to India. https://t.co/PqqAxaM5Vq
— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) May 25, 2021
The planes are reportedly carrying 680 oxygen tubes, five oxygen generators, 50 ventilators and 50,000 boxes of anti-viral medicines prepared by the Turkish Red Crescent — the largest humanitarian organisation in Turkey — and the country’s health ministry.
“2 Turkish military cargo planes carrying medical supplies to fight COVID-19 in India arrive tonight in New Delhi,” Firat Sunel, ambassador-designate of Turkey to India, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan, said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim Altan, head of the Turkish Red Crescent, during an interaction with reporters recalled how India aided Turkey during wars and stood by it in trying times.
“India sent aid to our country during both the Balkan Wars and the War of Independence and has always stood with us in trying times. Today, we are sending aid to them,” Altan said.
A report by Turkey’s Anadolu Agency also noted that the aid boxes are inscribed with some lines by 13th-century poet Mevlana Rumi: “There is hope after despair and many suns after darkness … With love from Turkey to the people of India”.
Both India and Turkey are looking to revive their bilateral ties after a brief period of tensions over India’s decision to revoke Article 370, which took away the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
President Erdogan had subsequently made speeches criticising the Narendra Modi government’s move, which had irked the latter.
Last month, during a phone-call with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had offered the Covid aid to India.
India has been hit by a severe second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and has reported more than 2.7 crore cases in total. It is also registering over 4,000 deaths every day.
Over 40 countries have come to India’s aid and have supplied Covid related equipment and materials through the Indian Red Cross Society, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.
(Edited by Rachel John)