Earthquake survivors carry bottles of water back to their tent after receiving food aid in Ercis, near the eastern Turkish city of Van.
Earthquake survivors carry bottles of water back to their tent after receiving food aid in Ercis, near the eastern Turkish city of Van.

Turkey appeals for EU’s help

Time of article published Oct 27, 2011

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Turkey has called for EU help in the relief effort after Sunday's 7.2-magnitude earthquake that killed at least 530 people, the European Commission said on Thursday.

“The Turkish authorities, the Red Crescent and the numerous volunteers... have asked us to join their effort to care for the survivors and Europe is ready to contribute,” said Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for crisis response.

Turkey “requested the activation of the European Civil Protection Mechanism,” and six states - Austria, Belgium, Britain, France, Slovenia and Sweden - offered about 1 200 special winter-weather tents to house families.

A handful of experts have also been despatched to south-eastern Turkey, where more than 2 200 buildings have been damaged and another 1 300 people at least were reported injured.

The EU and Turkey have for years been engaged in negotiations about Ankara joining the bloc, but these have stalled over problems relating to EU member Cyprus, the divided island part-held by Turkey.

There has also been growing unease shown by the leaders of France and Germany over enlargement to include a massive, mainly Muslim emerging economic and strategic power. - Sapa-AFP

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