Foreign Ministry Increases Emergency Assistance to Turkey

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
23 August 1999

In light of the dimensions of the disastrous earthquake which recently struck Turkey, Foreign Minister David Levy has instructed Foreign Ministry Director-General Eytan Bentsur to significantly accelerate the flow of Israeli aid to Turkey.

In discussions which Director-General Bentsur held with senior ministry officials, the following steps were decided upon:

* The dispatch of two cargo planes to transport medicines and medical equipment (in response to a request from the Turkish Red Crescent);

* Coordination with Bezeq on assisting in the reconstruction of Turkey’s communications network;

* Coordination with the Agriculture Ministry in transporting (by sea) and distributing supplies and equipment;

* Providing advice on rehabilitating damaged rural areas;

* The organization of special seminars in Israel and Turkey for the bodies responsible for dealing with the problems facing the Turkish people. Emphasis will be placed on public health, community development and public administration. (It should be noted that several hundred Turkish citizens are attending special seminars in Israel this year and the intention is to significantly expand the number of participants);

* Coordination with various Jewish organizations around the world, such as the American Jewish Committee, which wish to help alleviate the suffering of the Turkish people;

* The establishment of a regional training center and the establishment of an experimental dairy and cattle unit.