Greece and Turkey need not wait for natural disasters in order to improve their relations, Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters after meeting his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias, who was visiting the quake-hit areas on Sunday.
Dendias fully endorsed Cavosoglu’s comment during their joint statements, adding that Greece’s efforts to help the Turkish people and Turkish society overcome this major setback would not stop there.
Good neighboring relations can be seen during such challenging times, Cavusoglu said as he thanked Greece for the support that it has promptly provided.
“I hope that we will try to resolve our differences through dialogue,” the Turkish minister concluded.
In these difficult times, a neighbor extending a helping hand is a true neighbor.🇹🇷🇬🇷
— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) February 12, 2023
#SONDAKİKA Yunanistan Dışişleri Bakanı Dendias, #deprem bölgesini ziyaret etti
Bakan Çavuşoğlu: "Hem Dendias'a hem Yunan halkına ve milletine bu zor zamanda yanımızda oldukları için teşekkür ediyor şükranlarımı sunuyorum." pic.twitter.com/yzEPiULS7C
— ÜLKE TV (@ulketv) February 12, 2023
Turkish FM’s warm welcome to Greek counterpart
Upon his arrival at Adana airport, Dendias was warmly welcomed by his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu.
The Greek minister was planning to meet with members of the Greek aid mission, which is operating in the areas devastated by the recent earthquakes, he stated on Twitter.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias arrives in Türkiye's southern Adana province after powerful earthquakes struck the region, welcomed by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu
— ANADOLU AGENCY (@anadoluagency) February 12, 2023
After a brief meeting at the airport, the two ministers boarded a helicopter to the quake-hit province of Hatay.
They visited the rescue operations centre in Antakya and look into more ways of Greece aiding Turkey in these times of emergency.
Latest estimates set the death toll from the quake at 24,000 victims. However, miracle rescues continue by Turkish and international crews. About 80,000 injured are being treated in hospitals and over one million are left homeless, per AMNA.
“We had the opportunity with Mr. Cavusoglu to also visit the Austrian, the Dutch and Icelandic rescuers. From what they told us, 205 [people] were saved by them, including the Greeks,” Dendias said.
Greece was among the first nations to help Turkey with rescue teams and equipment after the massive earthquake of February 6, and Dendias is the first Minister of a EU country to visit the impacted areas.
Furthermore, the Greek minister had instructed Greece’s Permanent Mission in Geneva to take action so that emergency humanitarian assistance be provided through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
In the meantime, the Greek Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andreas Katsaniotis, has undertaken the coordination of agencies and individuals that wish to assist in the collection of humanitarian aid for the affected areas in Turkey and Syria.
In praising the Greek rescuers who have been operating at quake-hit areas in Turkey, the President of the Hellenic Republic said on Saturday: “In defiance of potential aftershocks or further collapse of ruined buildings, brave in the face of danger, the men of the Special Disaster Response Unit (EMAK) remind us -by actions rather than words- that the awareness of another person’s pain supersedes the boundaries between people, and sets aside differences between states -no matter how serious- in the name of solidarity and compassion.”