President Ilham Aliyev visits embassy of Türkiye in Azerbaijan and expresses condolences over heavy losses
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has visited the embassy of the Republic of Türkiye in the country, and offered condolences over the heavy casualties as a result of an earthquake that hit Türkiye, News.Az reports.
Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Cahit Bagci welcomed the head of state.
President Ilham Aliyev signed a condolence book.
The head of state then had a conversation with the ambassador.
President Ilham Aliyev said:
- I am offering my condolences again. It is a great disaster, a huge tragedy. Innocent people have been killed and injured.
You know that Azerbaijan, as always, has been by the side of brotherly Türkiye from the first minutes and hours. As always, we have shown our support and solidarity. If we have been able to help at least a little in eliminating the consequences of this bitter tragedy, we consider it an honor for ourselves. Türkiye is always with us, in good times and in difficult times.
This horrific earthquake has saddened us a lot. In other words, it has caused great moral suffering to each one of us. We share the pain of our brothers. We pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. When I called my dear brother, Mr. President on the phone to express my condolences, I said that we were wholeheartedly with you. You know that people are constantly being sent to Türkiye. At the same time, doctors, rescuers and volunteers are and will continue to be sent.
You know that the people of Azerbaijan voluntarily bring whatever they have to support their brothers. Someone brings a blanket, someone brings a mattress, and someone else brings a coat. People are ready to share whatever people have. We are once again demonstrating to the whole world that true brotherly relations exist not only at the interstate level, not only at the level of heads of state, but also at the level of people, and this is natural.
Our public organizations are also providing support. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation has already launched a major initiative. All the possibilities of the Foundation, all the people working under the Foundation have already joined this aid campaign.
According to my information, private companies have already sprung into action and started to provide financial and technical assistance. On my instructions, our biggest company SOCAR has started to provide support. As you may know, SOCAR has extensive activities and great opportunities in Türkiye. This company is also a Turkish company, and it is trying and will continue trying to help with all the possibilities it has.
I know that representatives of our state institutions are also active in organizing humanitarian aid within their institutions, and we can only welcome this. In other words, the entire Azerbaijani people are with the brotherly Turkish people today.
On my instructions, all aid issues will be managed from one center, and the head of the Presidential Administration has been instructed about that. In addition, our hospitals have all the conditions for the treatment of our wounded brothers and sisters. Beds have already been allocated in Baku and other cities, including the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, and if necessary, we are ready to bring in patients.
In parallel, a large group of volunteers is already on the way. We have large groups of volunteers – both volunteers working under the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and ASAN volunteers, i.e. they are always the first to provide aid when an unfortunate event happens in Azerbaijan, for example, when an earthquake occurred in Shamakhi, Aghsu, Ismayilli. They are on the way now.
I am sure that Türkiye will come out of this bitter test with honor and cope with it. But this is an incredibly immense tragedy. Every life saved seems to save the world for us. Again, rescuers from Türkiye, Azerbaijan and other countries are doing a great job. Of course, the main burden, the moral burden here falls on the Turkish government. My brother, the honorable President, immediately gave all the instructions and sent all the ministers to the disaster zones, and I am sure that the strong and powerful Turkish state will overcome this difficulty and continue its efforts in conducting search and rescue operations. After that, of course, we are ready to join the restoration work. That is, Türkiye and Azerbaijan are already one fist, one heart and one soul. We see it this way, the citizens of Türkiye and Azerbaijan also see it this way. It is a great honor for us to be with Türkiye in these difficult days.
Let me say again that we hope this doesn’t happen again. May Allah rest the souls of all those who perished in peace, grant patience to their relatives. Natural disasters do happen and no-one is immune to them. But the prompt and agile steps taken by the Turkish state once again showed that the human factor is the main issue for the Turkish government. At the same time, this difficult ordeal will once again show the strength of Türkiye to the whole world. This will not shake our fraternal people and will not affect the will of the Turkish state. The Turkish state is a strong state and it is showing its strength in the fight against this disaster.
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Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Cahit Bagci said:
- Dear Mr. President, thank you very much for your visit. You have shown your greatness. Thank you and always be there for us.
We know that brotherly Azerbaijan has mobilized all its resources on your orders since the first minute. Not only the Ministry of Emergency Situations, but also all the institutions, the entire societies and people have been mobilized. Your people’s hearts are beating in an effort to ease our pain. We are witnessing that, we are seeing that. Thank you very much, thank you.
There was a truly powerful earthquake. For the first time in the history of Türkiye, a non-local earthquake has caused us so much suffering. It has affected more than 10 cities, more than 10 million people, and our losses are increasing every day. May Allah grant patience to our nation and not make us suffer such great pain again, Inshallah.
Dear Mr. President, thank you very much. Indeed, Azerbaijan has been like a heart. Our people are helping with whatever they can. Thanks to the hard work of the people working to help, the trucks are now on the way. We are truly grateful. Today, the Speaker of the Milli Majlis, Honorable Sahiba Gafarova, Honorable Prime Minister Ali Asadov and Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov called us. On your instructions, institutions are inquiring about transportation, the need for generators, transformers and hospital supplies. We are also working in coordination with them.
Thank you so much for your support in healing our wounds. We know that we are brothers and we live and feel it from the heart. Türkiye also conveys its appreciation to Azerbaijan with all its heart, dear Mr. President.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you.
Cahit Bagci: Thank you, Mr. President.