Sri Lankan plane carries relief goods from Bangladesh to Türkiye

A Sri Lankan flag carrier with nearly 11 tons of relief goods flew from Bangladesh to quake-hit Türkiye on Thursday, according to official sources.

“Since last Friday, we have been carrying donations from Bangladesh to Türkiye on a regular basis by passenger airlines. Due to huge collections, we also arranged two big Turkish cargo flights that carried 200 tons of relief items. But we are also trying to engage other international flights as a huge amount of donations is yet to be airlifted,” Ejaz Kadry, sales and traffic officer of Turkish Airlines, told Anadolu.

He added that as part of that initiative, a Sri Lankan flight carried approximately 11 tons of relief items, including 250 tents, from Bangladesh to Türkiye on Thursday.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Bangladeshi people from across the country gathered at the headquarters of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) in the capital Dhaka on Thursday for the seventh consecutive day to hand over donations.

TIKA’s Bangladesh coordinator, Sevki Mert Baris, told Anadolu that they would send 8-9 tons of donation materials on Thursday night by a regular Turkish airline. He added the office would continue receiving donations on Friday.

Speaking to Anadolu, Bangladeshi nationals outside the TIKA office said they would never leave Türkiye in this period of crisis.

“People are supporting generously and today we have donated different items, mostly blankets and jackets,” Hafiz Shibbir Ahmed, a member of a local NGO, told Anadolu.

Many Bangladeshi youths, mostly students, have also been serving as volunteers with the TIKA officials in handling the donations.

“When I saw the plight of our Turkish brothers and sisters, I was shocked and thinking about how I can help. As I have no money, I decided to serve as a volunteer to help my Turkish brothers and sisters,” Al Imran, a youth from a remote southern coastal district of Feni, told Anadolu.

Acknowledging people’s support, Monjur ALAHE, Assistant to TIKA Bangladesh Coordinator, told Anadolu: “I have seen many Bangladeshis coming to us with donations and crying over the plight of Turkish people.”

At least 36,187 people were killed by the two strong earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye on Feb. 6, the country's disaster agency said on Thursday.

The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 earthquakes, centered in the Kahramanmaras province, affected more than 13 million people across 11 provinces, including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, Sanliurfa, and Elazig.

Several countries in the region, including Syria and Lebanon, also felt the strong tremors that struck Türkiye in the space of less than 10 hours.

Source: Anadolu Agency