ANKARA: A Turkish military aircraft carrying medical aid for the fight against the novel coronavirus departed from the capital Ankara for five Balkan countries on April 8.
“Masks, overalls and test kits prepared by the [Health Ministry] will be delivered to Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Kosovo by the instructions of our President Mr. [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan,” the Defense Ministry said in a tweet.
The medical aid is being sent via an A-400M type plane, belonging to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
The plane will first arrive in Serbia’s capital Belgrade and then will travel to Sarajevo, Montenegro, Skopje and Pristina, respectively.
There was also a quote by Sufi poet Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi on the aid boxes, which was translated to the countries’ own languages.
“There is hope after despair and many suns after darkness,” read the quote.
Erdoğan on April 6 announced that the country would donate medical assistance to Serbia.
In a letter to his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic, Erdoğan expressed Turkey’s support for Serbia in the fight against COVID-19.
“I am convinced that the active measures you have taken since day one of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic will help to master this crisis with the least possible losses,” Erdoğan told Vucic, according to the Serbian Presidency.
Last week, Turkey also sent medical aid to Italy and Spain, the worst-hit countries by the coronavirus in Europe.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg had praised Ankara for the aid, along with Italy and Spain.
In March, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that 23 countries have requested aid for coronavirus equipment.__Hurriyet