Deputy PM complains about Israeli formalities for bringing wounded Gazans to Turkey
ANKARA Sevil Erkuş
Palestinian carries a child as he gets off a plane after the arrival of a group of Palestinans injured during Israeli operations in Gaza at Ankara's Esenboğa airport on 13 August, 2014. AFP Photo / Adem Altan
The Turkish government faces difficulties in getting permission to bring injured Palestinians to Turkey, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay has said, as a Turkish plane evacuated 18 more wounded Palestinians on Aug. 13, raising the number of Gazans being treated in Turkish hospitals to 25.
The wounded Palestinians left Gaza through the Erez crossings to Israel before being picked up from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv by Turkish planes. However, the Israeli authorities did not give permission for the crossing of a number of Gazans, a Turkish official told the Hürriyet Daily News.
The plans had been to bring 40 wounded Palestinians to Turkey on Aug. 13, but permission was only able to be received for 18 due to too many formalities, Atalay told reporters on Aug. 14.
Five of the 18 wounded out Gazans are children, while one is a pregnant woman, he said, adding that the government planned to bring around 200 Palestinians to Turkey for treatment.
The wounded receive their first medical treatment at the airport by Turkish Health Ministry surgeons.
Seven other injured Palestinians had earlier been airlifted to Turkey, and the Turkish disaster management agency AFAD is planning to conduct another airlift on Aug. 19.
Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek visited some of the wounded Gazans at hospital, where he told reporters that Israel was continuing to play with world public opinion with “so-called cease-fires.”
Çiçek also claimed that “some states” are trying to protect their interests by “playing politics with pain.”
Also visiting the wounded Gazans at hospital, Sezgin Tanrıkulu from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said the Turkish state would “always stand by the Palestinians.”
Meanwhile, Atalay said some 1,700 Yazidi refugees had crossed into Turkey, and noted that the government had decided to set up a camp for the Yazidi people in northern Iraq’s Zaho region over the possibility of more refugees fleeing from the violence of jihadist militant groups.