Ankara, The Gulf Observer: In response to the recent inhumane attack on Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, the Turkish Ministry of Health has taken swift action to provide essential health services to the region, Türkiye’s Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca has said.
The Minister said on Wednesday on X that ongoing negotiations with international health organisations are underway to convey aid to besieged Gaza.
At least 500 people were killed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza’s Al Ahli Arab Hospital late on Tuesday. Footage on social media showed corpses scattered across the hospital grounds.
The Turkish minister said he conducted telephone diplomacy with international interlocutors, including the top executives of the World Health Organization, pointing out “that it is unacceptable for facilities serving human health to be attacked under any circumstances and for any reason.”
“It is never possible for us to remain unresponsive to this attack. The helplessness of sick and innocent people places a burden on us, especially of the conscientious duty that a part of the world ignores and avoids undertaking,” Koca said in his statement.
He announced that Türkiye is ready to send a Hospital Ship to the region or establish Field Hospitals in Gaza or near the Rafah Border Gate.
During a conversation with Dr Hans Kluge, the WHO Regional Director for Europe, the Turkish Minister says he stressed the urgency of supporting the region with essential healthcare services and expressed the country’s willingness to collaborate with the WHO, emphasising the historical responsibility of the WHO in providing aid during such crises.
Saying that Türkiye’s opinions and demands have been welcomed by WHO EMRO Director Dr Ahmed Al Mandhari, and in consultation with WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Koca said it is decided to initiate the cooperation process between Türkiye and the WHO immediately.
“Our coordination and cooperation efforts in this direction firmly continue,” he added.
The Turkish minister also underlined that despite diplomatic difficulties, “Türkiye will always continue to be there for babies, children, the elderly and innocent people.”
“These days we live in are historical days when people make the choice of whether to stand by humanity or not.”
The Gaza-based Palestinian health ministry said Al Ahli Arab Hospital was sheltering hundreds of sick and wounded and people “forcibly displaced from their homes” because of other Israeli strikes.
The hospitals were attractive because they had been relatively spared from the Israeli bombing raids that have hit Gaza every day since October 7. But the WHO says 111 medical buildings have been hit, 12 medical workers have been killed, and 60 ambulances have been targeted in the last 11 days.
About 3,000 people have died in Israeli raids, according to the Gaza authorities.
Shortages of medicines have added to the crisis caused by the lack of water and fuel to keep medical establishments running.