A Bulgarian Air Force Spartan transport aircraft took off from Sofia on the morning of February 8, bearing 20 fire safety and civil defence staff to help rescue efforts in Türkiye, according to a Defence Ministry statement.
Caretaker Defence Minister Dimitar Stoyanov told reporters that the flight was organised after a conversation with Aylin Sekizkök, ambassador of Türkiye in Sofia.
“There is an urgent need for rescue teams to help in Türkiye,” he said.
International media reported on February 8 that the death toll from the earthquakes two days earlier had reached 5894 in Türkiye and 2470 in Syria.
The February 8 flight was the fifth by the Bulgarian Air Force to assist rescue operations in Türkiye.
Stoyanov said that another flight carrying medics was expected to be sent to Adana on February 9, and another flight, or two, on February 11.
He said that it was probable that there would be a change of part of the teams, from Sofia municipality’s emergency service or from the Mountain Rescue Service. The Defence Ministry was ready with two aircraft and was awaiting the requests from the rescue teams, Stoyanov said.
There was constant contact with Bulgaria’s ambassador to Türkiye, Angel Cholakov, who was providing information on how search and rescue operations were going.
Stoyanov said that finance for the rescue operations would be reimbursed by the European Union, for which the necessary documents had been prepared.
“That’s not important now. It is important to help our neighborus and give them the help they need. Every human life saved is priceless and we are not thinking about the financial means at the moment,” he said.
(Photo: Bulgarian Ministry of Defence)
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