Turkey's initiative to transport injured Palestinians in Gazan to Turkey has begun. Abdulrauf Gazi Mohammed, who was injured during Israeli strikes on Gaza, was transferred to Turkey for treatment by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), per the instructions of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Taken to Turkey by Turkish Airlines, Mohammed was welcomed by TİKA head Serdar Çam. Speaking to journalists, Çam said that passports and visas for nearly 60 injured Gazans are needed to be processed before more of the injured can come. "We [Turkey] will try to take other injured people to Turkey as soon as possible. We took on this initiative to organize a humanitarian zone to take seriously ill people to Turkey and we held talks with several international humanitarian organizations, including the Turkish Red Crescent and Red Cross."
The Turkish Red Crescent has also sent medical supplies to Gaza in collaboration with Turkey's Social Security Institution. It is reported that nearly 20 tons of medical supplies were delivered to Gaza.
Mintez Şimşek, the Deputy General Manager of the Turkish Red Crescent, stated that following the required approval, the supplies will be delivered to Tel Aviv and then to Palestinian officials. The supplies include painkillers, antibiotics and surgical items. TİKA, based on orders from Erdoğan last week, has been distributing food and other humanitarian supplies.
They have distributed 15,000 food packages and 15,000 meals while water and sanitation, education, health care, orphanage and infrastructure projects are underway to respond to the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Throughout the month of Ramadan, 15,000 iftar meals were distributed by TİKA to people who fled their homes in the Shujaya, Tuffah, and Zeytun neighborhoods of Gaza City due to indiscriminate Israeli attacks from the air, land and sea. They have since taken refuge in schools belonging to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. According to reports by TİKA, the agency started to make contacts with officials in TİKA's Gaza and Palestine office on July 9 to evaluated the situation following the Israeli air strikes that began on July 8. They said that developments are constantly being watched while the agency's Gaza office is responsible for distribution of food and humanitarian aid supplies.
For instance, 15,000 families have received a food package containing basic necessities such as rice, sugar, flour, and oil in Rafah, Gaza City and Khan Younis. TİKA has also delivered four generators to Gaza, whose infrastructure has been heavily destroyed by attacks in past years.
Turkey has increased its Official Development Assistance by 30 percent in the last decade to reach more people in need throughout the world. Beginning with emergency aid, Turkey also advanced its aid activities from basic needs projects to the preservation of cultural assets and developmental assistance.