Article: MELİS YILDIRIM – Camera: UMUT DOĞAN
Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Turkey Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, at the event held today in CerModern on the occasion of Europe Day, said: “Even though we have gathered here today to celebrate a joyful event on 9 May, our hearts and minds are in the same place as the devastating event that took place on 6 February. Together with Hatay, Kahramanmaraş and other provinces hit by earthquakes. Our minds and hearts are still with the millions of people affected by this tragedy. Especially with those who lost their families, friends, loved ones, homes, livelihoods, but also our minds and hearts are still from Turkey and around the world. “The search and rescue teams are with thousands of people, including 1,600 people from the EU, who took action to save survivors, heal those who have lost everything, and provide shelter for the survivors,” he said. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director for EU Affairs Ambassador Mehmet Kemal Bozay said, “We will never forget this support from the whole world, especially the EU, right after the earthquake.”
9 May Europe Day, where the foundations of the EU were laid, was celebrated today in Ankara CerModern with the reception hosted by the EU Delegation to Turkey. Before the reception attended by many foreign mission representatives, Head of EU Delegation to Turkey Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut met with members of the press.
Meyer-Landrut spoke here:
MEYER-LANDRUT: “OUR MIND AND HEART WITH MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AFFECTED BY THIS TRAGEDY”
“Although we have gathered here today on May 9 to celebrate a joyous event, our hearts and minds are with Hatay, Kahramanmaraş and other provinces hit by the devastating earthquakes on February 6. Our minds and hearts are still with the millions of people affected by this tragedy. Especially their families. together with those who have lost their friends, loved ones, homes, livelihoods, but also with thousands of people whose minds and hearts are still in Turkey and around the world taking action to save survivors, heal those who have lost everything and provide shelter for those who are left. Among them were 1,600 people from the EU, in search and rescue teams. Rescue teams from the EU, as well as medical teams, were here to provide humanitarian aid and later to increase this humanitarian aid. After the earthquake, also in Brussels with the participation of the international community a donors conference was held, raising billions of euros to support recovery and rebuilding efforts in Turkey.
“IT IS POSSIBLE TO SEE THE BEST EXAMPLE OF PROFESSIONALITY, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND SOLIDARITY”
Today we celebrate Europe Day by opening this exhibition. The name of our exhibition is ‘Together We are Strong’. In fact, this is an indicator of what Turkey and Europe can do. It is also a tribute to the people involved in search and rescue efforts and medical teams. At the same time, it is an exhibition that underlines the cooperation between Turkish people and Europe. In fact, it is possible to see the best example of professionalism, international cooperation and solidarity.”
“MEHMET KEMAL BOZAY: THE SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAMS RUNNING TO OUR COUNTRY WORKED EVERY DAY AND NIGHT”
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director for EU Affairs Ambassador Mehmet Kemal Bozay said:
“We have a belief that solidarity increases joy and reduces pain. As a matter of fact, the solidarity shown by the EU institutions and the international community, especially the member states, after the earthquake that affected 11 provinces and nearly 16 million citizens was very valuable for us. To the EU Delegation to Turkey, which organized the exhibition. I would like to express my gratitude to the Photojournalists Association and all the photographers who contributed with their works. On this occasion, I wish God’s mercy on those who lost their lives in the earthquake, and once again condolences to their loved ones and our nation. The search and rescue teams that rushed to our country after the earthquake worked hard for days and nights. I take this opportunity to thank all of them wholeheartedly.
“WE WILL NEVER FORGET THIS SUPPORT FROM THE WHOLE WORLD, PRIMARY OF THE EU”
We will never forget this support from all over the world, especially from the EU, right after the earthquake. On February 6, when the earthquake occurred, I was about to leave my EU Permanent Representative position and come to Ankara. When I learned about the earthquake early in the morning, at 6 am Brussels time, I immediately called the relevant EU authorities. As the permanent representative, I learned that the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which we were in, immediately came into play while I was thinking about what to do. This ensured that the first aid teams that arrived were from the EU.
As an experienced ambassador, Mr. Meyer-Landrut contacted me to discuss what we can do together to organize a Donor Conference to heal the wounds. It showed us that together with the EU, we will be strong, emphasizing today’s theme.”
Ambassador Meyer-Landrut and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bozay examined the photographs in the “Together we are strong” Digital Photography Exhibition organized with the contributions of the Photojournalists Association of Turkey. The doors of the exhibition will be open until the evening of Sunday, May 14, as a thank you to everyone who helped, especially the search and rescue and medical teams, after the earthquake that took place on February 6, causing great destruction and the death of more than 50 thousand people.