Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C.

News from the Turkish Foreign Ministry

Press Release Regarding The Recent Developments In The Gaza Strip , 28.12.2008

Turkey is undertaking intensive diplomatic initiatives regarding the recent developments in the Gaza Strip.

In this respect, President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan conveyed our concerns and views over the phone to their counterparts in the countries both in and outside of the region as well as the Secretary Generals of international organisations.

During his contact with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Prime Minister Erdoğan stressed the need for an active involvement by the UN for immediate cessation of the Israeli military operations and the provision of humanitarian aid to the people of the Gaza Strip.

Foreign Minister Babacan requested an emergency meeting of the OIC Foreign Ministers to discuss the developments in the Gaza Strip on his call to the OIC Secretary General Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. Secretary General Ihsanoglu made the necessary announcement to this effect.

The calls and initiatives will continue today.

Turkey also intensified its humanitarian assistance it has already been extending to the Gaza Strip where many lives were lost and hundreds were injured. In this respect, 10 trucks carrying humanitarian aid will depart from Turkey this morning. Furthermore, 5 of the 15 ambulances donated to Palestine reached the Erez crossing point between Israel and the Gaza Strip this morning. Turkey is determined to continue its assistance.

Our Ministry and Diplomatic Missions in the region are on alert. We are following the developments closely. We are also monitoring the conditions of the Turkish citizens living in the Gaza Strip. Contacts and preparations are being made in order to facilitate the launching of an evacuation process, should the circumstances require.