Ilham Aliyev paid a visit to the Embassy of Turkiye in Azerbaijan and conveyed his condolences over the significant loss of life

08 February 2023, 14:40
Ilham Aliyev paid a visit to the Embassy of Turkiye in Azerbaijan and conveyed his condolences over the significant loss of life

Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, paid a visit to the Embassy of the Republic of Turkiye and extended his sympathies for the significant loss of life caused by an earthquake in Turkiye.

Cahit Bagci, the Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan, greeted the head of state.

President Ilham Aliyev signed a book of condolences.

The head of state then spoke with the Ambassador.

President Ilham Aliyev said:

- I extend my sympathies once more. It is a major catastrophe, an enormous tragedy, and innocent deaths and injuries have occurred.

You are aware that Azerbaijan has always stood by the side of Turkiye since the first minutes and hours. As usual, we have demonstrated our support and unity. If we can alleviate even a small portion of the consequences of this tragedy, we will consider it an honor. Turkiye is always with us during both good and bad times.

This devastating earthquake has left us in great despair. In other words, it has caused us immense moral agony. We feel the suffering of our brethren, and we pray for the swift recovery of the injured. When I contacted my dear brother, Mr. President, to convey my condolences, I told him that you had our full support. You are aware that Turkiye is continually receiving new forces - doctors, rescuers, and volunteers are currently and will continue to be dispatched.

You are aware that the people of Azerbaijan donate whatever they can to help their brothers. Someone brings a blanket, someone brings a mattress, and someone another brings a coat. People are willing to share whatever they own. We are again demonstrating to the entire world that genuine bonds exist not just between states and heads of state but also between individuals, which is natural.

Our public institutions also provide assistance. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation has already initiated a significant endeavor, and all of the Foundation's resources and employees have already joined this assistance campaign.

According to my information, private companies have already begun providing financial and technical support. Our largest corporation, SOCAR, has begun assisting with my orders. As you may know, SOCAR's operations and resources in Turkiye are considerable. This company is also a Turkish company, attempting to assist in any way possible and will continue to do so.

I am aware that officials of our state institutions are also involved in coordinating humanitarian relief within their institutions, which is something we can only applaud. In other words, the entire Azerbaijani people are together with the Turkish population today.

On my orders, all aid-related matters will be managed from a single center, and the head of the Presidential Administration has been notified. In addition, our hospitals have all the necessary resources to treat our wounded brothers and sisters. Beds have been allocated in Baku, other cities, and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, and we are prepared to admit patients if necessary.

A significant number of volunteers are already on their way. We have significant groups of volunteers - working under the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and ASAN volunteers, who are always the first to deliver relief in the case of a disaster in Azerbaijan, such as when an earthquake struck Shamakhi, Aghsu, and Ismayilli. They are currently en route.

I am confident that Turkiye will emerge from this ordeal with dignity intact. However, this is an enormous disaster. Each life spared appears to save the entire world for us. Again, rescuers from Turkiye, Azerbaijan, and other nations are performing admirably. The Turkish government bears the heaviest moral duty in this situation. My brother, the President, quickly issued all directives and dispatched all ministers to the catastrophe zones. I am confident that the great and powerful Turkish state will overcome this obstacle and continue its efforts to undertake rescue operations. After that, we are, of course, prepared to begin restoration work. Therefore, Turkiye and Azerbaijan are already a single fist, heart, and soul. This is how the people of Turkiye and Azerbaijan regard this situation, and so do we. It is a great honor to stand behind Turkiye in these challenging times.

Allow me to reiterate that we hope this never happens again. May Allah rest the souls of all the deceased in peace and grant their families patience. There are natural calamities, and no one is immune to them. But the swift and nimble actions made by the Turkish government once again demonstrated that the human dimension is the government’s primary concern. At the same time, this ordeal will again demonstrate Turkiye's strength to the globe. This will not shake our brotherly people or affect the will of the Turkish state. Turkiye is a mighty nation, and it is demonstrating its might in the fight against this disaster.

x x x

Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Cahit Bagci said:

- Thank you very much for your visit, Mr. President. You've demonstrated your kindness. Please continue to be there for us.

We know that brotherly Azerbaijan has mobilized all of its resources on your commands from the first minutes. In addition to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, all institutions, associations, and individuals have been mobilized. Your people's hearts are beating to alleviate our suffering; we are witnessing and observing this. Thank you so much, indeed.

There was a powerful earthquake. For the first time in Turkiye’s history, a non-local earthquake has inflicted such devastation. It has affected over ten cities and over ten million people, and our losses are growing daily. Inshallah, may Allah grant patience to our nation and save us from enduring such adversity again.

Mr. President, thank you very much for your assistance. Indeed, Azerbaijan has been like a heart. Our employees are providing any assistance they can. The trucks are now on their way due to the hard effort of the people assisting. We are incredibly appreciative. Today, we were contacted by the Speaker of the Milli Majlis, Sahiba Gafarova, the Prime Minister, Ali Asadov, and the Minister of the Economy, Mikayil Jabbarov. On your instruction, institutions have inquired regarding transportation, generators, transformers, and medical supplies. Additionally, we are coordinating with them.

We much appreciate your assistance in mending our wounds. We are aware of our relationship as brothers and live and experience it from the heart. Turkiye extends its heartfelt appreciation to Azerbaijan as well, Mr. President.

President Ilham Aliyev: I appreciate it.

Cahit Bagci:

Many thanks, Mr. President.