Türkiye evacuates 170 of its citizens, their relatives from Gaza: Turkish FM

'Türkiye cannot remain silent in face of wholesale targeting of Gaza, including bombing of hospitals, schools, mosques,' says Hakan Fidan

14:33 - 20/11/2023 Monday
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Türkiye has evacuated 170 of its citizens and their relatives from Gaza so far, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Monday.

Presenting the 2023 budget of the Foreign Ministry and related institutions at the Planning and Budget Committee of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye, Fidan emphasized the country’s commitment to establishing peace and security in the region.

Fidan stressed that the Foreign Ministry continues to work to strengthen foreign relations on a structural basis and advance global goals.

Various challenges such as armed conflicts, terrorism, irregular migration, foreign hostility, and Islamophobia trigger and fuel each other, Fidan said.

“In this environment, with our increased capabilities, we conduct strong diplomacy both in the field and at the table, using soft and hard power elements with a broad perspective.”

- Gaza crisis

Fidan highlighted the humanitarian tragedy faced by Palestinians in Gaza since Oct. 7, calling it "Israeli brutality."

"Türkiye cannot remain silent in the face of the wholesale targeting of Gaza in an attempt to destroy Hamas, including the bombing of hospitals, schools, and mosques," he said.

"Türkiye has been engaged in intensive diplomatic efforts since the first day of the crisis to stop the ongoing massacre, put an end to the brutality, and prevent further escalation of tension in the region."

Fidan noted that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has held talks with world leaders, including those from Israel and Palestine.

Türkiye conveyed a message for the urgent need to stop Israeli attacks and implement a two-state solution at the joint extraordinary Arab and Islamic Summit held in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh on Nov. 11, he reminded.

The peace call made at the "United for Peace in Palestine" summit in Istanbul on Nov. 18, led by Turkish first lady Emine Erdogan, is "the voice of global conscience,” he added.

Highlighting the significance of unified regional reactions against Israel, Fidan said that the West has lost its moral superiority in this regard.

Türkiye has sent 11 planeloads of humanitarian aid to Egypt to be delivered to Gaza, said Fidan, adding that a large ship with field hospitals, medical equipment, medicines, and other aid materials has also reached Egypt.

"We have also facilitated the evacuation of 27 patients and 12 attendants from Gaza, and have brought them to Ankara. Additionally, 61 patients and 49 attendants were transferred to Egypt," he added.

#Hakan Fidan
11 days ago