Israel offers Turkey emergency aid in wake of devastating floods

At least 70 people have died in flooding in northern Turkey, and dozens more are missing.

By Dean Shmuel Elmas and Lilach Shoval, Israel Hayom, via JNS.org

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz contacted Turkey’s defense attaché to Israel and the Turkish Defense Ministry on Sunday and offered to send a search and rescue delegation to help Turkey cope with the aftermath of devastating floods.

Gantz said that a team from the IDF Home Front Command could also provide medical personnel and supplies.

Torrential rains battered the country’s northwestern Black Sea provinces on Aug. 4, causing floods that demolished homes and bridges, swept away cars and blocked access to numerous roads. At least 70 people have been killed by flooding in northern Turkey, and dozens more were missing as of Sunday afternoon.

Emergency crews on Monday pressed ahead with efforts to locate at least 47 people who were still reported missing in Kastamonu and Sinop. The Turkish disaster management agency AFAD said some 8,000 personnel, backed by 20 rescue dogs, are involved in the rescue and assistance efforts.

About 2,400 people were evacuated across the region amid the floods and around 40 villages remain without power, according to AFAD.

Recently, strained Israeli-Turkish relations have shown signs of thawing. Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated Israeli President Isaac Herzog on his election victory—the first conversation between Erdoğan and a senior Israeli official since 2013.

The conversation lasted some 40 minutes, and Herzog and Erdoğan agreed to bolster bilateral relations, stressing that ties between Israel and Turkey were of great importance to stability and security in the greater Middle East, and that cooperation between the two countries had great potential, especially in the energy, tourism and technology sectors.

Associated Press contributed to this report.