Turkey mourns with Japanese doc’s death

Turkey mourns with Japanese doc’s death

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey mourns with Japanese doc’s death

President Abdullah Gül gave his condolences to Japanese Emperor Akihito. AA photo

Turkey’s President Abdullah Gül sent a written message to Japanese Emperor Akihito to express his condolences over the death of the Japanese medic who came to Van to help the search and rescue efforts.

Dr. Atsushi Miyazaki was found dead in the rubble of Bayram Hotel, which collapsed during the 5.6-magnitude earthquake Nov. 9. Miyuki Konnai was rescued from the hotel, which was inspected and approved after the 7.2-magnitude earthquake. The Japanese volunteers arrived in Van after the 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Oct. 23.

“We will always remember these self-sacrificing people, who won over the hearts of the Turkish people through their outstanding efforts in Van, with gratitude and respect,” Gül wrote to Emperor Akihito on Nov. 10 night, Anatolian news agency reported Nov. 11.

“The aid given by the Japanese government and citizens following the earthquake has been received with sincere feelings as a manifestation of the friendship and closeness between the two countries,” Gül said in his letter before expressing his condolences to the emperor and the Japanese people and wished the doctor’s family and friends’ peace in these hard times.

‘Our family’

Meanwhile Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoğlu also gave his condolences on the Foreign Ministry’s twiiter account. “From now on, Miyazaki’s family is also our family,” Davutoğlu said.

Survivor Konnai was flown to Ankara by Minister of Energy Taner Yıldız in the Prime Ministry’s jet. The injured volunteer was greeted at the airport by Japanese Ambassador to Turkey Kiyoshi Araki and officials from the Ministry of Health.

He was able to walk off the plane and was carried onto the ambulance on a stretcher. He is currently undergoing treatment at the Atatürk Training and Research Hospital. Minister Yıldız told reporters that the volunteer was “very tired” after being stuck in the rubble for hours, but that her overall condition was “very good.” Minister Yıldız also told reporters that he was deeply touched by Konnai, who told the minister that she would return to Van despite the earthquake.

Turkish disaster management authority said on Friday that 22 people including Japanese citizen Miyazaki lost their lives but 30 people were pulled alive from the rubble after the magnitude-5.6 earthquake.

 On Oct. 23, Van had been hit by a quake measuring 7.2 on Richter scale. 601 people were killed and 4,152 others were wounded. 188 people were pulled alive out of the debris