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Turkey earthquake: Dhaka in touch with embassy in Ankara

Masses in Bangladesh in solidarity with Türkiye after twin quakes​

DHAKA, Bangladesh

People from all walks of life in Bangladesh express condolences, sympathy to Türkiye after twin quakes shook region​

Mohammad Azgar, 55, a rickshaw puller in Bangladesh's remote northern border district of Panchaghar, who occasionally work in the capital Dhaka, was seen riding his rickshaw in a gloomy mood in the upscale Gulshan area.

The long-beared man with a green apron set by the Dhaka City Corporation was speechless for a few moments sitting in his driving seat while asked about catastrophic earthquakes in Turkiye and Syria.

"They (nationals of Turkiye and Syria) are our brothers and sisters. Their pains mean our pains. As I am a poor man, I have no capacity to donate to them. But I prayed to Allah to help them," Azgar told Anadolu with a sad tone.

Standing at a close distance, another Bangladeshi national, Mohammad Kalam, was listening to Azgar carrying a bag at hand.

While asked about his arrival in Dhaka, he told Anadolu that he had come from the central northern district of Mymansing with a big blanket to support Turkish people from the bitter cold.

"I am saddened and stunned when I see through social media that people, including children, are suffering from bitter coldness amid the disaster in Turkiye. With my best capacity, I have bought this heavy blanket to donate to any victim family in Turkiye," Kalam said.

The man later came to Bangladesh's headquarters of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) in Dhaka's diplomatic zone of Gulshan and handed it over.

Like Kalam, hundreds of Bangladeshi nationals from different distant areas of Bangladesh on Saturday came to Dhaka's TIKA office for the second day to donate necessary items like warm clothes, dry foods to support disastrous Turkish people through the country's state-run agency.

Almost in the same breath, people from all walks of life in Bangladesh have expressed their profound condolences and sympathy to Türkiye after twin quakes shook the region.

"Since the devastating earthquake hit Turkiye last Monday, I can't sleep properly as the scenarios of the destruction and helpless faces of the victims, including tender kids, always appear in my mind. I pray to Allah - please don't test any of us with such catastrophe," Sabina Yasmin, a housewife in Bangladesh's southern coastal district of Chandpur, told Anadolu over the phone.

Overwhelming donation

Speaking to Anadolu, Bangladesh's coordinator of TIKA Sevki Mert Baris said that the first shipment of Bangladeshi donations had already reached Türkiye.

"Our first Turkish Airlines carrying almost 5 tons of necessary items donated by Bangladeshi people reached Turkiye on Saturday morning while we hope that tonight (Saturday) another shipment of nearly 10 tons to be reached," Baris said.

Expressing satisfaction over the overwhelming response of Bangladeshi nationals to the Turkish disaster, he also informed that Cargo Airlines of Turkiye would come to Bangladesh this night and hopefully carry 100 tons of relief items from Bangladesh and fly for Turkiye Sunday morning.

He also thanked the Bangladesh government for donating 10,000 tents which are essential for earthquake-hit Turkish people.

"Already 2,000 of those tents have been sent while the rest are to be sent soon," said the TIKA official, requesting people to prioritize sleeping bags, tents and heavy blankets so that people amid near-freezing temperatures can use them

Bangladesh dispatches assistance to Syria

Bangladesh has dispatched an assistance mission to earthquake-hit Syria after a similar assistance mission was sent to Türkiye.

A special flight left from Dhaka to Syria Friday night (local time) that included a rescue team of 17 members from Bangladesh Air forces and relief goods and essential medicine said a Bangladesh foreign ministry statement on Saturday.

The humanitarian assistance contained 11 metric tons of relief goods which included dry foods, medicine, blankets, tents and winter clothes, it added. The flight is scheduled to return to Dhaka on 13 February after handing over the relief goods to the local authority in Syria.

Earlier on 08 February 2023, Bangladesh Air Force dispatched a similar special flight with relief goods and two medical teams and a rescue team with a total of 61 members to Türkiye.

The team is contributing to rescue efforts in consonance with Turkish teams.

At least 20,665 people were killed and 80,088 others injured by two strong earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye on Monday, the country's disaster agency said on Saturday.


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