No: 151, 18 May 2014, Press Release Regarding the Flood Disaster in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia

We follow with great sorrow the flood disaster caused by non-stop rain in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia causing loss of life and property. We convey our condolences to the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia for their relatives who lost their lives in the disaster and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded.

Turkey has been providing support to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia since the first days of the disaster. Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoğlu has sent messages of condolence to his counterparts in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and expressed his sympathy and the deep sorrow felt by our people. He also stated that Turkey stands ready to provide any kind of assistance.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EUFOR’s (European Union Force) rescue and relief efforts are continuing under the coordination of the Turkish colonel who serves as the acting commander of the Force. Our contingent within EUFOR participates in the rescue efforts with its own resources. Aid material provided by our institutions and Turkish companies, particularly the Turkish Embassy in Sarajevo and the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), are being delivered to those in need. The Turkish Red Crescent and the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality also try to provide assistance according to the demands coming from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Administration (AFAD) has assigned a team that will work in Sarajevo to coordinate the procurement and delivery of Turkish assistance. The Turkish Red Crescent has set out to send 2,250 blankets and 432 family kitchen sets to Bosnia and Herzegovina and a team from the Red Crescent is being appointed to the area to this end.

Concurrently, Turkey has taken action to aid those affected from the flood disaster that occurred in Serbia and the Turkish Embassy in Belgrade has informed the Serbian authorities that a surface search and rescue team is ready to head out for the region immediately and that AFAD conducts the efforts to procure aid to disaster victims. AFAD sends a team to the disaster area in order to steer emergency aid procurement and delivery efforts. In addition, the Turkish Embassy in Belgrade sends emergency materials to disaster victims in Serbia and coordinates clothing and food assistance by Turkish companies in Serbia.

A climate of close relations and cooperation in every field prevails between Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, which we consider as our neighbors in the Balkans. We plan to continue to provide any assistance according to the requests that will come from these countries.