Ecuador's deputy education minister extended his thanks to Turkey for helping his country after last year's devastating earthquake
Ecuador's Deputy Education Minister Miguel Herrera said his country was deeply grateful for the aid sent by Turkey after last year's devastating earthquake, adding that he was sending a message of thanks to the entire Turkish nation for extending a helping hand in his country's most desperate times.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) after the signing of a cooperation deal between the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) and the Ecuadorian Education Ministry, Herrara said every effort to help his country was deeply felt by his people.
"We are aware of the high standard of education in Turkey and are deeply interested in what we can gain from its expertise," he said. "We are also hoping for this agreement to further cement bilateral ties and especially cooperation in education."
The earthquake occurred on April 16 last year, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, and killed 676 people and injured more than 16,000. Close to 30,000 people had lost their homes.
Herrera said he had visited Turkey and knew it well, advising Turks to travel to his country. He said he had purposefully visited places that are not usually on the touristic trail. "I went to Istanbul and then moved on to Trabzon in the Black Sea. After touring the Black Sea coast, I went to Diyarbakır and Şanlıurfa. I know Şanlıurfa, which is known as the city of prophets, well and was impressed by it."
He said he enjoyed his time in Turkey, adding, "I don't like Turkey only as a country, but I also loved its people. They were full of kindness."
TİKA Deputy President Professor Birol Çetin signed the cooperation agreement on behalf of Turkey.
Soon after the earthquake, the Prime Ministry's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) sent aid to the affected communities in Ecuador, especially those located in and around the cities of Calceta, Portoviejo and Manta. It had also sent mobile sanitation units to schools located throughout the region.
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