A Turkish military cargo plane carrying medical supplies for use against the coronavirus pandemic departed on Tuesday for the US.
“The loading process of the medical aid supplies to be delivered to the US by Turkish Armed Forces aircraft has been completed. Our aircraft carrying the medical aid supplies to be used in combating COVID-19 has departed from Etimesgut Airfield/Ankara,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Twitter.
The medical aid supplies also carried on a message for the people of the US, saying: “After hopelessness, there is so much hope and after darkness, there is the much brighter sun. Rumi.”
The ministry also released a statement saying that the medical aid supplies leaving for Washington were prepared under the instructions of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“The health supplies prepared by the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Health consists of masks, face visors, N95 masks and overalls,” it added.
The ministry also said: “Our Turkish Armed Forces aircraft have also delivered health supplies previously to Spain, Italy, Britain, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Libya and Somalia.”
US thanks Turkey for donation
The US thanked Turkey for donating medical supplies in cooperation to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak in the worst-hit country.
“During times of crisis, like the worldwide effort to combat COVID-19, close coordination among like-minded allies and partners is key to developing a swift and effective response. None of us can do this alone,” US Ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield said in a statement.
“On behalf of the US Government, I want to thank our NATO Ally Turkey for today’s generous donation of medical supplies and other essential equipment.”
Satterfield noted that the donation is scheduled for delivery later in the day via Turkish A-400M military aircraft to Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C.
He stressed that the donation will be distributed to those who need them most across the US by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“As this delivery indicates, the US-Turkey relationship is strong and one of our most important alliances,” the ambassador said. “We look forward to continuing cooperation with Turkey on this and many other mutual priorities.”
Turkey in solidarity with US
Turkey stands in solidarity with the US, its NATO ally, against the novel coronavirus, the country’s communications director said Monday.
“Turkey continues to deliver medical supplies to its friends and allies. We are proud to announce that 500,000 surgical masks and other PPE [personal protective equipment] will arrive at @Andrews_JBA tomorrow. We stand in solidarity with the United States, our NATO ally, against COVID-19,” Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter.
After originating in Wuhan, China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread to at least 185 countries and regions across the world. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit.
The pandemic has killed more than 211,200 people worldwide, with the total number of infections exceeding 3.04 million, while at least 894,500 have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University of the US.