New Delhi: Turkey’s Ambassador to India Firat Sunel referred to New Delhi as ‘dost’ (Hindi for friend) after the Centre decided to send relief and humanitarian aid to the quake-hit nation where more than 4,300 people died in the aftermath of a devastating 7.8-magnitude quake that struck an area close to the Syrian border.
In a tweet late Monday night, Sunel said: “‘Dost’ is a common word in Turkish and Hindi… We have a Turkish proverb: ‘Dost kara gunde belli olur’ (a friend in need is a friend indeed). Thank you very much.”
On Tuesday, India dispatched the first batch of humanitarian aid along with a rescue team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to Turkey.
Taking to Twitter, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said: “India’s Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) capabilites in action.
The 51-member NDRF team headed by Deputy Commandant Deepak Talwar left from the Hindon Airport in Ghaziabad for Turkey on board an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft.
On Monday, the Centre had announced that two NDRF teams comprising 100 personnel with specially trained dog squads and necessary equipment were ready to be flown to Turkey for search and rescue operations.
According to the government, medical teams were also being readied with trained doctors and paramedics with essential medicines.
As of Tuesday morning, the toll in Turkey stood at 2,921, while in Syria it increased to 1,451.