Greece is sending 160 trucks of humanitarian aid to Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of the massive earthquake that left tens of thousands homeless.
The first major consignment of aid from Athens municipalities and the Attica regional authority will depart by ship on Wednesday.
The public response to a call for humanitarian aid is immense, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Andreas Katsaniotis said.
He noted that Athens municipality alone has collected enough food and pharmaceuticals to pack 1,000 boxes and to pack another 2,000 boxes of clothes.
Η αρωγή Αυτοδιοίκησης, φορέων & απλών πολιτών όλης της επικράτειας είναι συγκινητική.
Εως Τετάρτη αναχωρεί από Πειραιά το 1ο πλοίο με ανθρωπιστική βοήθεια προς 🇹🇷. Φορτηγά απο Θεσσαλονίκη θα μεταφέρουν τη βοήθεια οδικώς. Στόχος η συνεχής παροχή ανθρωπιστικού υλικού #HellenicAid pic.twitter.com/wZ53mA4x3A
— Andreas Katsaniotis (@katsaniotis) February 13, 2023
According to the aid collection plan, goods donated in Thessaloniki by regional authorities, municipalities, churches, schools and organizations in Thessaly and northern Greece will be transported by road to earthquake-afflicted areas in Turkey and Syria.
Goods donated from any other regions in the country will be collected in Athens and transported by ship.
The response of many people in Greece to the disaster in Turkey has been amazing. Locals on the island of Kastelorizo, which lies roughly 2 kilometers (1 mile) off the south coast of Turkey, have been voluntarily gathering aid for the victims. They have sent the supplies using a small boat to the Turkish city of Kas.
“We could not remain indifferent to the plight of the people in Turkey. Both as human beings and as neighbors we had to act,” said Maria Kokkala who organized the aid effort in Kastelorizo.
The shipment was accompanied by a message written in the Turkish language. “Dear neighbor, our hearts were destroyed along with your homes. We want to do everything we can for our brothers, with whom we share the same earth, the same air, the same sun.”
Greece vows to continue humanitarian aid to Turkey
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias promised on Feb. 12 to continue Greek humanitarian assistance to Turkey over the devastating earthquake.
“We will continue to do our best to overcome difficult times, both at the bilateral and EU level,” the Greek minister said in a joint press statement with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in the southern quake-hit province of Hatay.
Dendias paid a visit to Turkey in a show of support, despite a longstanding rivalry between the two NATO countries.
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