Turkey to send technical team to Gaza

Turkey to send technical team to Gaza

Turkey to send technical team to Gaza

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A Turkish technical team will be heading to Gaza this week to provide aid and begin work on establishing electricity and water infrastructure for the Palestinian people living in the enclave, immediately after Turkey and Israel signed a deal to normalize their strained relationship, a senior Turkish official said late June 28. 

“A first aid ship will depart [for Gaza] on Friday [July 1]. The Gazan people will feel the concrete outcomes of this agreement [between Turkey and Israel] in their lives. Of course this is not going to be the only ship. After this one, first aid supplies will be sent to Gaza at certain intervals,” İbrahim Kalın, the chief foreign policy advisor to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and presidential spokesperson, told reporters late on June 28. 

“Also, work to increase the electricity and food volume will be conducted. Action will be taken for the work that will be done after the technical work of the committee, who will be departing to Gaza this week and relieve the Gazan community,” he said. 

The technical team will start initial works to establish infrastructure for generating electricity and supplying water to the Gazan people in line with the Turkey-Israel agreement.   

The agreement signed by the two countries will first have to be approved by their respective cabinets, Kalın said, adding the process of exchanging ambassadors would begin after this process without delay. 

Kalın said the agreement signed with Israel did not mean Turkey would change its posture on the Palestine issue, saying, “Our position on subjects like the liberty of Palestine, a two-state solution and improving the living conditions of the Gazan community is clear and it won’t change. The commencement of diplomatic relations with Israel will maybe strengthen Turkey’s hand in resolving the Palestine issue. We are planning to turn this into an opportunity.”

Kazakh and Azeri leaders mediated 

On efforts to normalize ties with Russia, Kalın hailed the roles of the leaders of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Ilham Aliyev, respectively, as mediators between Ankara and Moscow. 

“There were mediators and those who took initiative [on finding a] solution to the issue in the past three-four months. I want to mention that among them, the presidents of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan were there. I won’t go into details that much because maybe Mr. President [Erdoğan] would like to explain. But we would like to inform that they have [made a] critical contribution,” he said. 

On a question about restoring relations with Egypt, Kalın said “There are relations [with Egypt] that are maintained on a certain level. There is no foreseeing a big change in that matter.”