Turkey to send more ferries, planes to save citizens in Libya

Turkish authorities continue to display efforts to save the Turkish citizens trapped in the ongoing turmoil in Libya.

Turkey to send more ferries, planes to save citizens in Libya

Turkish authorities continue to display efforts to save the Turkish citizens trapped in the ongoing turmoil in Libya.

As part of the efforts, a ship named "Samsun", belonging to a private company of the Turkish Chamber of Shipping, departed from Istanbul for Libya at midnight.

The ship, which has 39 personnel, 5 police officers, 4 passengers, a doctor, a nurse, 2 technicians and Anadolu Agency reporters on board, is expected to arrive in Libya in two days, officials said.

The vessel, which also carries foodstuffs for nearly 1,000 people, will proceed its journey in line with the approval of relevant authorities, sources added.

It was also reported that a second ship named "Ankara" would be sent to Libya once preparations were completed.

In the meantime, "Orhangazi-1" ferry, which arrived in Libya on Tuesday to bring back Turkish nationals, departed from Benghazi port with 1,500 passengers on board early on Wednesday.

Releasing a statement, Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said the ferry had left Bingazi around 3:30 a.m. and was expected to arrive at Turkey's southeastern Marmaris port in 20 hours.

The ministry later announced that "Osmangazi-1" ferry, the second ship allocated for the transfer of Turkish citizens, had also departed from Benghazi with nearly 1,500 passengers at 5 a.m..

Turkish frigates will be accompanying the two ferries during their cruise to Marmaris, officials said.

Moreover, spokesperson Selcuk Unal for the Turkish foreign ministry said early on Wednesday that Turkey planned to send 5 planes to Tripoli on Wednesday to bring 1,800 Turkish citizens back to homeland.

Unal said high-level officials from relevant institutions gathered at the MFA headquarters in Ankara on Tuesday to assess the latest developments in Libya.

Unal noted that "Iskenderun" ferry was on its way to Libya and was expected to arrive in the country on February 24, while "Ankara" ferry and five planes were expected to depart for this country on Wednesday.

"Opposition informed"

A coordination meeting took place at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on recent developments in Libya and evacuation of Turkish nationals from north African country.

State Minister & Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim and State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan were in attendance at the meeting.

Efforts to evacuate Turkish nationals from Libya were reviewed and additional measures to be taken to bring Turkish citizens back to Turkey were assessed at the meeting.

Meanwhile, State Minister Cicek held a meeting with leader of the main opposition party to inform him on recent developments in Libya.

"The Turkish government has taken all necessary measures for evacuation of Turkish citizens from Libya. A crisis desk has been established at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to coordinate the efforts. Meanwhile, ten countries including the USA, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Australia and Syria demanded us to evacuate their citizens from Libya too. Most of Turkish people are in the city of Benghazi. But the airport in this city is closed to traffic. We have the capacity to evacuate 6 thousand people by sea every day," he said at his meeting with Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

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Last Mod: 23 Şubat 2011, 12:11
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