President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sent letters to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón following the delivery of medical aid by Turkey yesterday.
President Erdoğan’s letter to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte reads as follows:
"Esteemed Prime Minister, Distinguished Friend,
We are going through a difficult period when the Covid-19 pandemic continues to pose a major threat to the entire world and leads to the loss of lives of many people, unfortunately. Italy, our friend and ally, is one of the countries at the forefront of fighting against the pandemic. On the day you declared national mourning, I would like to express my sympathy and hope that such grieves will not recur. On my behalf and on behalf of my nation, I would like to extend my condolences over the death of Italian citizens during the pandemic.
We sent aid materials to Italy through Turkish Red Crescent in the previous days as a sign of our friendship. We are dispatching additional materials via military channels in response to your call for assistance through NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC). Moreover, we have used every means available to make it easier to export medical supplies, which Italy needs urgently in the fight against the pandemic, from Turkey as much as we can.
While Turkey shows that it is Italy’s friend in need and even the European Union stands in the way of aids, we have unfortunately come across with baseless reports in the Italian press that accuse our country unjustly and claim that medical supplies have been seized. I would like to express our appreciation for the sensible statements made by Italian authorities in this regard.
Distinguished Prime Minister, following the phone conversation we had, I would like to once again indicate that we stand by you in the fight against the pandemic and hope that I will meet you again on healthy days to come, which I believe we will reach as soon as possible."
“We are using every means available to make things easier”
President Erdoğan’s letter to Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón reads as follows:
“Esteemed Prime Minister, Distinguished Friend,
I am aware that Spain, our friend and ally, is among the countries that are most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. On behalf of my country and nation, I would like to extend my condolences to all the people of Spain and especially to the relatives of those who lost their lives during these tough times.
Turkey appreciates the strong and resolute stance exhibited by the people of Spain in the face of this crisis in complete solidarity. We have noted that your government has been taking effective measures since the first days of the pandemic and has been fighting intensely and successfully against the crisis. I wish you success in your efforts. We hope that the friendly people of Spain will overcome this calamity in the shortest time and with the least damage and could return to days full of prosperity, peace, and well-being.
We have a proverb in Turkish ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’. With this perspective, we are supplying medical aid to your country today with an aircraft from Turkish Air Forces in response to your call for assistance through NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center (EADRCC).
We use every means available to make it easier to export medical supplies you need from our country in an environment where even the European Union stands in the way.
I wish you and your government the best of luck in your fight against this pandemic. Once we have overcome this challenging period, I would like to invite you to Turkey to hold our next Intergovernmental Summit in order to decide on the steps that will carry our bilateral cooperation forward, as we have previously discussed.”