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Turkey's Erdogan raises millions for Gazans
By Ariel Ben Solomon
08/19/2014
Aid campaign initiated by Turkish PM and president-elect has garnered nearly $21 million for Palestinians.
 
A Gazan aid campaign, initiated by Turkish Prime Minister and president-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has raised $20.8 million according to a senior government official.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Emrullah Isler released a written statement on Sunday revealing the amount of aid raised, the Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak reported.

“Turkey’s international development agency, or TIKA, has provided 15,000 families with food through its permanent office in Gaza under the ongoing heavy Israeli attacks,” Isler said.

“TIKA has also provided more than 350,000 Palestinians with daily food since the beginning of Ramadan,” he said adding, “the Palestinian Energy Authority was provided with desperately-needed fuel.”

Isler said, according to the report, that the Turkish Red Crescent delivered the aid, mostly consisting of medicine, but also including generators.

Last week, Turkey transferred 18 wounded Palestinians to Ankara for medical treatment, as part of a plan to evacuate thousands of people from the Gaza Strip.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey planned to bring in around 200 wounded in the first stage of the plan and would seek more flights in the future.

Turkey seeks to expand its regional role, in what some experts have called a neo-Ottoman foreign policy.

In addition, the country already shelters more than a million Syrian refugees.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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