Turkia Have No Fear! The Jewish Country is here!
It is no big deal. You know. Offering assistance to countries who seek to place sanctions on you. And it really puts world politics in perspective. People come first. Then governments. Then schwarma.
Recently, the Turks were rocked by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake, according to their seismology center. The quake occurred in the east of the country in a town known as Ercis which sits on a geological fault line and may have killed and injured upwards of 1,000 people, and collapsed 45 buildings. 10 other buildings have fallen in the city of Van.
The Telegraph reports:
Emergency teams were trying to rescue people believed to be trapped in a building in Van, near the Iranian border, state-run news agency Anatolian said. It said 50 injured people had been taken to hospital in Van, but did not give details on how serious their injuries were.
The Kandilli Observatory said the earthquake struck at 10.41 GMT and was 5km (3 miles) deep. The U.S. Geological Survey earlier reported that the magnitude was 7.6. Television pictures showed damaged buildings and vehicles, crushed under falling masonry, and panicked residents wandering in the streets.
Turkish media said phone lines and electricity had been cut off. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was heading to Van to see the damage, media reported. Aftershocks continued after the initial quake, whose epicentre was at the village of Tabanli, north of Van city, the agency said.
In Hakkari, a town around 100km (60 miles) south of the city of Van in southeastern Turkey, a building could be felt swaying for around 10 seconds during the quake. There was no immediate sign of any casualties or damage in Hakkari, around two and half hours drive through the mountains from Van, around 20km from the epicentre.
Major geological faultlines cross Turkey and small earthquakes are a near daily occurrence. Two large quakes in 1999 killed more than 20,000 people in northwest Turkey. Two people were killed and 79 injured in May when an earthquake shook Simav in northwest Turkey.
Despite recent animosity between these two governments it is Israel to the rescue, as it was recently when natural disasters occurred in countries such as Japan and Pakistan.
Note however, Turkey offered its aid to Israel during a massive wildfire that consumed a formidable chunk of Israel’s Carmel region late last year, and sent firefighting aircrafts.
Ehud Barak said Israel is offering to aid the Turkish government in any way it can. The Geophysical Institute of Israel said the quake was also felt in residential high rises in central Tel Aviv. Barak instructed the head of the Defense Ministry’s diplomatic-security bureau, Amos Gilad, to contact Turkish officials and offer them “any aid that they may need.” The Foreign Ministry officials have also initiated contact with Ankara in order to estimate the extent of aid required, if at all.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said in a statement that, following orders by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, he contacted Turkish authorities, saying “Israel’s embassy in Ankara had already issued the offer to Turkish officials.”
Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz has ordered the IDF’s Home Front Command to prepare for the possible launching of a special delegation to the Turkish disaster zone.
In other news, the following report is from yesterday’s NYTimes:
ISTANBUL — More than 49 Kurdish insurgents were killed in the first two days of a new Turkish military offensive against P.K.K. rebels in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq, the military said Saturday.
The military began the operation, involving heavy air support and more than 10,000 troops, on Thursday, a day after an attack by the P.K.K., or Kurdish Worker’s Party, killed 24 soldiers and injured 18 in the province of Hakkari, in one of the deadliest single-day attacks in recent years.
Part of the operation has extended into the autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, a mountainous border area where P.K.K. militants often take shelter. Turkey has staged cross-border operations or bombardment several times in recent years, and it is a thorny issue in Turkey’s relationship with Iraq.
Now that the United States is leaving Iraq, trumpeting triumphantly in foreign policy, DebkaFile reports:
The eight-year US military presence in Iraq ends therefore leaving Iran sitting pretty on its two key strategic goals:
1. The exit of American soldiers, whose presence in Iraq since the 2003 invasion was deemed in Tehran a continuous threat to its borders. US military involvement in Afghanistan is seen in the same light.
2. A weak Shiite-led government in place in Baghdad, heavily dependent on Tehran’s will. Torn by strife among Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, Iraq is in no state to obstruct Iran’s hegemonic plans for the Persian Gulf and Syria.
The Iranian regime’s right hand for achieving those goals was – and is – Al Qods commander Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the man also accused by Washington of masterminding the assassination plot.
Washington is well aware of Soleimani’s capacity for interfering with American interests. Indeed he crows about it.