In response to the call of the Government of Sri Lanka for assistance from the international community, the Turkish Red Crescent Society donated family size tents, solar powered lamps and blankets.
The relief materials were brought to Bandaranaike International Airport by Turkish Airlines on Sunday 22nd May. Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Sri Lanka Tunca Ozcuhadar handed over the relief supplies to Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Minister of Disaster Management.
At the handing over ceremony at the Ministry of Disaster Management, Ambassador Ozcuhadar said that immediately after the floods and the landslide occurred in Sri Lanka, Turkey extended its condolences to the people affected by the disaster, and expressed its readiness to provide assistance. He mentioned that Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Disaster Management Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne briefed the heads of diplomatic missions of the flood situation and provided a list of urgently needed relief materials on last Thursday. In response to this call, the Embassy informed the authorities in Turkey, and the Turkish Red Crescent dispatched the aid material within a day. In his speech Ambassador Ozcuhadar said that not only now, Turkey was one of the first countries to respond even after the 2004 Tsunami. He stated that while the recent floods cannot be compared to the Tsunami, even though around 500,000 people are affected and 200 people are dead or missing as a result of the recent floods.
He said that as the monsoon rains are expected next week, there is increased importance of timely assistance. Speaking at the event, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa expressed his appreciation and thanked the Turkish government for its timely assistance. He said that Turkey is a true friend of Sri Lanka and has always been there at times of need. The Minister also pointed out that although Turkey is currently accommodating millions of refugees, it was indeed commendable that Turkey still supports Sri Lanka by providing relief materials during this time of need.