Rishi pledges UK’s steadfast support to Turkish President following earthquake

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks to the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan from his office in 10 Downing Street.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has spoken to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan following the devastating earthquakes which struck Türkiye and Syria.

On behalf of the British people, the Prime Minister expressed his deep condolences for the tragic loss of life and pledged the UK’s steadfast support.

The Prime Minister confirmed that a 77-strong British search and rescue team is now in Gaziantep with specialist equipment and dogs, in response to a request from the Turkish government, and is already assisting with the rescue effort.

The UK team is made up of firefighters and staff from 14 fire and rescue services from across the country who are using specialist search equipment including:

  • Seismic listening devices;
  • Concrete cutting and breaking equipment; and
  • Propping and shoring tools.

Their world-class specialist skills and state-of-the-art heavy duty equipment are allowing the UK team to cut their way into buildings and locate survivors in the rubble during this vital time.

The team is self-sufficient and provides its own food, water, shelter, sanitation, communications and all necessary equipment to undertake search and rescue operations.

President Erdoğan thanked the Prime Minister for the UK’s solidarity in response to this tragedy and welcomed international search and rescue and medical support for the initial emergency response.

The Prime Minister also noted the deeply concerning humanitarian situation over the border in North-West Syria, where Türkiye plays an important coordinating role, and set out how the UK has increased support to aid organisations and emergency responders.

The UK government is immediately providing the support requested by the Turkish government and will continue to assess the situation and stands ready to provide further long-term assistance as needed.

Plane carrying UK search and rescue team arrives in Turkey.

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