Erdogan victory celebration, August 10, 2014..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Four wounded Palestinians were flown into Ankara for medical treatment on Monday, the first sign of Turkey's promised plan to evacuate thousands from the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Authority had helped organize the transfer of the wounded people from Gaza to Israel and then to Turkey, he added.
said last week it was seeking Israeli and Egyptian agreement for an air corridor to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza
after a month of bloodshed that has killed 1,910 Palestinians and 67 Israelis.
"Our wounded from Gaza
have started to come," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
told reporters meeting the flight from Israel
's commercial hub Tel Aviv
Medics carried three Palestinian women and a male youth on stretchers into waiting ambulances at Ankara's Esenboga airport
Eager to re-establish itself as a powerhouse in a rapidly changing Middle East
is already sheltering more than a million refugees from the war in Syria
and is playing a major role in the development of Iraqi Kurdistan.
Despite crumbling relations with Israel
, it also hopes through its ties with the Palestinian authorities to play a part in brokering a long-term settlement in the Gaza Strip
Pro-Palestinian sentiment runs high in mostly Sunni Muslim Turkey
, and protesters have repeatedly taken to the streets in recent weeks to demonstrate against Israel
's offensive in Gaza
The first four wounded arrived a day after Israel
and the Palestinians agreed a fresh 72-hour ceasefire.
, spokesman of the ministry of health in Ramallah
, in the occupied West Bank
, said another 60 wounded people would be flown into Turkey
later on Monday.
The Palestinian Authority
had helped organize the transfer of the wounded people from Gaza
and then to Turkey
, he added.
Davutoglu said Turkey
planned to bring in around 200 wounded in the first stage of the plan and would hold further talks with Israel
- which has acted as a mediator in the conflict - to agree more flights.
's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan
announced the launch of the air corridor in his first speech after winning Sunday's presidential election.
He described his victory as a triumph for Gaza
. In campaigning ahead of the election, Erdogan had likened Israel
's actions in Gaza
to those of Hitler and warned it would "drown in the blood it sheds".
, which denounced Erdogan's comments, says its offensive is intended to stop rocket fire from Gaza
and to destroy tunnels some of which have been used by gunmen to infiltrate Israel