Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has revealed that Hungary has sent 10 tons of aid to southeast Turkey to help with the medical treatment and temporary housing of people hit by earthquakes earlier this month.
During a press conference held with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, in Ankara, the foreign minister said Hungary rushed to the aid of the “brotherly nation” right after the disaster “when the focus was on saving lives”. It sent 167 rescue experts and 29 dogs who found 35 survivors, he said. To support the people who lost their homes in the disaster, Hungary is now sending a military aircraft with “1.5 tonnes of medicine, 500 camp beds, 1,500 blankets, 6,000 sleeping bags and 2,000 pieces of IV equipment” to help Turkey’s government in housing and protecting people from the winter, he said. Hungary and Turkey are also in talks on the delivery of medical equipment that may be needed if the demand for hospital treatment grows, he said. “Hungary is ready to send the new package as soon as the Turkish authorities have listed the equipment needed,” he said. “Hungary is a friend of Turkey’s. It is only natural that we stand by our friends in hardship, and will continue to provide all aid in our power to help the Turkish people’s lives to get back on track as soon as possible,” he said. As an example of the strategic partnership between the two countries, Szijjártó said Hungarian energy security would be “an unrealistic expectation” without Turkey, where the TurkStream pipeline is currently supplying the “majority of Hungarian demand in natural gas”. Future plans for energy diversification, involving imports from Azerbaijan, would also be impossible without Turkey, and talks are underway on purchases from Turkish distributors, he said. Regarding the war in Ukraine, Hungary and Turkey’s governments will continue to be vocal proponents of peace, Szijjártó said. “This is a critical issue for us, neighbours of Ukraine,” he said. Turkey’s call for peace is “greatly appreciated as we Hungarians have a vested interest in a speedy end to the war, which is the only way to save lives,” he said.