The first of several expected civilian planes full of Israeli earthquake relief set off for Turkey on Wednesday, even as Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu kept up his tough rhetoric against Israel.
The 747 plane chartered by the Defense Ministry carried seven prefabricated homes that have all the necessary electric wiring and can be lived in immediately by people who lost their homes in Sunday's earthquake that devastated the eastern province of Van and killed more than 460 people. The plane, which will land in Ankara, is also carrying warm clothes, blankets and mattresses.
A Defense Ministry official said that one, and possibly two more planes will be sent on Thursday. The official said the ministry chartered a civilian plane not because of a Turkish ban on IDF planes flying over Turkey, but rather because the 747 could carry more than an IDF transport plane.