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Tuesday, 28 February 2023 16:25

Turkish earthquake and international relief

Written by  Rahma
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A devastating earthquake shook Turkiye and Syria in early February, followed by international relief that shows Turkiye is an important nation. Many countries such as the US, Japan, Pakistan, China, and Indonesia lent their hands for Turkiye.

Even Russia and Ukraine, two warring countries, still gave their support. Turkiye is an influential NATO member country, which supports Ukraine. But at the same time, Turkiye also opens communication with Moscow.

Ankara's autonomous policy kept causing political friction. NATO, for example, did mind when Turkiye ordered some Russian weapons. However, thanks to good relations with the two conflicting nations, Turkiye can play an important role in realizing a "wheat deal" in 2022. This agreement allowed Ukrainian export through the Black Sea, which was blocked by Russia.

The earthquake relief operation came not only from friends of Turkiye. Despite disputes over maritime territory and Cyprus, the President of Greece still sent their thoughts and prayers via Twitter and The Greek Prime Minister phoned the Turkish President. And yes, Greece sent their aid to Turkiye.

Truly, the so-called "Earthquake Diplomacy'', during the 1999 earthquake in Turkiye that killed 17 thousand, relieved the tension between Athena and Ankara. At that time, Greece sent their rescue team and dogs, as well as two firefighting aircrafts.

Turkiye in return sent support when Athena was hit by a quake.

At the other time, it was proven that post-disaster joint relief operations can bring positive impact for international relations. A Turkish consultant at Atlantic Council predicted that bilateral relations between Turkiye and friends of Ankara will improve.

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