Israeli emergency services organisation Magen David Adom offered the Turkish government assistance this week after a powerful earthquake triggered a humanitarian response.
The magnitude 6.7 quake in Elazig province was felt in countries such as Georgia, Armenia and Syria. It killed at least 36 people and injured around 1,600 others, with 45 pulled alive from the rubble.
MDA director General Eli Bin extended Israeli assistance to Dr Kerem Kinik, president of the Turkish Red Crescent. “We are anxiously tracking developments,” he said on Monday.
“Our heart goes out to the Turkish people and to those who have lost loved ones. The Turkish Red Crescent is respected and highly experienced in responding to disasters.”
MDA has offered to help Turkey deal with natural disasters before, and Eli Bin said: “I am confident in the alliance that we have built and view this as an opportunity to offer assistance if necessary.”
The Turkish Red Crescent has set up a control centre in the capital Ankara and a field kitchen capable of feeding 5,000 people daily, with 2,500 shelter tents set up for families, blood supplied to hospitals and mental health teams made available.
“I view this as an opportunity for collaboration and offer all assistance towards saving lives anywhere in the world,” said Eli Ben. “This is how MDA has operated in the past and will continue to do so.”