Turkey, UK refute British media claims on Turkish medical supplies
Turkish and British officials have refuted some media reports in the U.K., on personal protective equipment (PPE) purchased from Turkey, which were claimed to be “useless” after failing safety tests.
British media reports on PPE purchased from Turkey, claimed to be “useless” after failing safety tests, “are not true,” the U.K.’s ambassador to Ankara, Dominick Chilcott, said on May 7.
“Stories in the UK media that 400K items of PPE sent from Turkey are unusable are untrue,” Chilcott wrote on Twitter. Chilcott said only “a small number of gowns from a private supplier have failed tests.”
“But more gowns from that supplier have passed tests and are suitable for use in the [National Health Service] NHS,” he said.
“We have received part of an order of around 400,000 gowns from a private supplier in Turkey. While a small number of these gowns have failed tests in the UK, more have passed tests making them suitable for use in the NHS,” a Downing Street spokesperson earlier said in a statement.
“The majority of items ordered from the private supplier are awaiting testing in the UK and Turkish Warehouses,” the statement added.
The Turkish Health Ministry also refuted claims in the British media and said they were approved by the National Health Services (NHS).
“As known, the Republic of Turkey donated 100,000 overalls, 100,000 surgical masks and 50,000 N95 masks to the UK on April 7. The CE and ISO certificates belonging to all of the products which the Republic of Turkey donated and later supplied have been previously submitted to the UK. All these products were sent to the UK after the approval of the NHS, which is responsible for the administration and coordination of the public health system,” said the ministry in a written statement.
Upon the aforementioned news, British authorities have been contacted, and the NHS officials sent a written confirmation to Turkey that there was no problem concerning these products sent by the Turkish government, said the ministry.
An official statement and information about the situation were requested from the relevant authorities of the U.K. with an official document through the Turkish Foreign Ministry, read the statement.
Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter that the mentality of those who relied on the anti-Turkish news without determining its accuracy and reliability highlighted the importance of independent, impartial, credible and responsible media.
If the media stops chasing the truth by being drawn into a vortex of lies, superstition and sensation, there could be no defense of democracy, he said.
Two weeks ago, the British government made an announcement that 400,000 coveralls would be delivered from Turkey. But the delivery had been delayed for days due to reasons originating from the private supplier. The delivery only became possible when the Turkish government stepped in to eliminate delaying contractual problems.
The claim was repeated all through May 7 by almost all mainstream media organizations including state broadcaster BBC and Sky News, as well as by local newspapers The Guardian and Financial Times a day after the U.K. recorded the worst death toll in Europe from the coronavirus and second-worst worldwide.