Hungarian Embassy In Ankara Evacuated Following Devastating Earthquake in Turkey

  • 7 Feb 2023 10:41 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Hungarian Embassy In Ankara Evacuated Following Devastating Earthquake in Turkey
The building of the Hungarian embassy in Ankara has been temporarily evacuated following the earthquake in Turkey, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Monday.

The government will send a team of fifty people on Monday evening to help with rescue operations in the affected area, he added.

Szijjártó said he had recently talked to his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, expressed his sympathies and offered Hungary’s help in the search for survivors, caring for the injured and restoring damaged infrastructure.

The earthquake could also be felt in the building of Hungary’s embassy in Ankara which has been temporarily evacuated pending an evaluation of its structural integrity by experts, he said.

“We have informed Hungarian citizens staying in Turkey, including 213 people who have registered for consular protection, about which areas of the country should not be visited,” he said. “We know about one Hungarian person staying in the affected area, with whom we maintain continuous contact,” he added.

He asked for persons with information about Hungarian citizens staying in the affected areas to report them to the consulate. He also said that a team of fifty Hungarian rescuers, including six doctors, will leave for Turkey under arrangements by the disaster management authority later in the day.

Earthquake damage has also been reported from Syria, with several Christian communities having been seriously affected, Szijjártó said. “Support to them will also be on the agenda in the upcoming days, and help will be sent,” he added.

Hungarian Rescue Team Leaves for Turkey

Hungary’s Hunor rescue team has left for Turkey to help those affected by a major earthquake that hit the country early on Monday. 

Providing fast assistance at a time of such a disaster is critical, Bence Rétvári, a state secretary of the interior ministry, said before the team’s departure.

The faster help arrives, the more lives can be saved, Rétvári said, noting that more than 1,000 people have been confirmed dead after the earthquake and 5,000-6,000 have been injured.

The 55-member team comprises firefighters, military doctors and members of the ambulance service. Its mission in Türkiye will also be assisted by search dogs. The team and its 90 tonnes of equipment and supplies are being flown to Turkey with an Airbus A319 of the Hungarian Armed Forces.

Their work will be directed by Turkey’s disaster management authority. The team’s supplies are enough for 10 days.

Rétvári noted that the Hunor rescue team was established 11 years ago and that since then Hungarian disaster management has proven it to be one of the world’s best prepared rescue teams.

Hunor has provided help in Serbia, Macedonia and Japan, among other places, he said. Rétvári said Hunor would also strengthen Hungarian-Turkish friendship, and thanked the team for its work.

President, Parliament Speaker Send Condolences Over Turkey Earthquake

President Katalin Novák has sent her condolences to her Turkish counterpart over the victims of an earthquake that shook Turkey in the early hours on Monday. In her letter to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Novák expressed her sympathy with the families of the victims and offered Hungary’s help to rescue operations.

László Kövér, the speaker of parliament, expressed sympathy on behalf of the Hungarian parliament with the families of the victims and sent them his condolences, his office said.

Kövér wished those injured a speedy recovery. In his telegram sent to Mustafa Şentop, Speaker of Turkey’s Grand National Assembly, Kövér said he had learnt with deep shock about the devastating earthquake that claimed a large number of lives and in which hundreds of people were injured.

He assured Şentop, that “the people of Hungary’s friend Turkey can count on our country’s help and support at this difficult time”.

Orbán: Hungary Standing by Turkey

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán sent his condolences to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a letter over the earthquake that shook southern Turkey in the early hours of Monday, and offered Hungary's help.

“Hungary is standing by Turkey at this tragic moment”, Orbán said, adding that he learnt about the disaster “with deep shock and sorrow”. Orbán expressed his sympathy to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.

Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, said that a team of fifty Hungarian rescuers, including six doctors, were set to leave for Turkey under arrangements by the disaster management authority later in the day.

“Turkey, the Turkish nation is a friend of Hungary and the Hungarian nation. It is natural, that in this disaster we will stand by our Turkish friends and help with whatever we can,” Szijjártó said. He said help will also be sent to Christian communities affected by the earthquake in Syria.

Bertalan Havasi, the prime minister’s press chief, said the earthquake that hit southeast Turkey and northern Syria would also be at the top of the agenda of a three-day strategic cabinet meeting that started on the outskirts of Sopron, in western Hungary.

MTI Photo: Tamás Kovács

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