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The New Arab

UK flies in medical aid from Turkey to help fight coronavirus

Turkey's coronavirus medical aid packages prepared for transportation to the UK [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 April, 2020

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Turkey delivered boxes of protective gear to the UKimprinted with the Rumi quote: “After hopelessness, there is so much hope and after darkness, there is the much brighter sun.”
A Turkish military cargo plane landed in London on Friday delivering medical supplies to assist the UK in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the Turkish Defence Ministry announced over Twitter.

"At the direction of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Armed Forces aircraft that will transport to the United Kingdom the medical aid supplies prepared by Turkey's Health Ministry to be used in the fight against Covid-19 has departed Etimesgut/Ankara," the ministry tweeted.

The supplies included protective masks and overalls for healthcare workers, packaged in boxes imprinted with a quote from Persian Sufi poet Rumi, saying: "After hopelessness, there is so much hope and after darkness, there is the much brighter sun."

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab thanked Turkey for the assistance in a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday, saying the move is an "indication of a strong friendship between the two countries".

Turkey also sent medical supplies on Friday to Libya, where it has sent troops to support the UN-backed Government of National Accord.

Click to enlarge

"At the direction of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as part of the preventative measures against Covid-19 virus, medical supplies were sent to our Libyan brothers and our military training cooperation and consultancy teams who are on duty in the region," said the defense ministry in a tweet.

Turkey has also sent medical assistance this week to Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Kosovo, as well as Italy and Spain the week previously.

The director of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, praised Ankara for its assistance, tweeting on 1 April: "#NATO solidarity in action: Turkey sending a cargo plane with medical supplies to Italy & Spain today to support our joint fight against #COVID19."

Turkey currently has 42,282 confirmed Covid-19 cases and has recorded 908 deaths. 

Meanwhile the UK has at least 65,077 confirmed cases with 7,978 as of 10 April.

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