Turkish ambassador to South Africa, Lesotho and eSwatini, Aysegul Kandas says there is now no need for additional Search and Rescue teams to be sent to the country a week after an earthquake that has killed more than 28 000 people in the southern Türkiye and north-western Syria.
Speaking to SABC News, Ambassador Kandas also thanked aid organisations and countries that have been sending help to her country.
Thousands of people are still missing, and over 5 million people are in desperate need of aid.
The Türkiye ambassador is appealing for more aid in the form of food, clothes, blankets as well as monetary donations.
“We don’t need medical teams anymore. There are enough medical doctors. We have field hospitals in place. Countries like Malaysia sent an emergency field hospital. They are all set up. As I said even for the search and rescue teams, we need tanks, it goes down to minus six degrees, there is no electricity, we need gas heaters,” adds Kandas.
“The international community, I must say, mobilized very fast, first of course the neighboring countries’ search and rescue teams and medical teams. Even now faraway countries such as South Africa are sending teams to the region because this kind of a devastation and disaster seeks a lot of coordination.”
Kandas says hopes of finding more people still alive are diminishing and now the urgency is to help those left destitute.
“People are not able to go back to their houses, it is winter minus degrees. So the most urgent needs at this point, there are five items: winter tanks, blankents, sleeping bags, generators and gas heaters,” adds Kandas.
Below is the full interview with Aysegul Kandas: