Turkey sees opportunity in virus crisis to bolster influence
Istanbul: Turkey is pushing its credentials as a major humanitarian power in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic by sending medical equipment to Italy and Spain, detection kits for Palestinians and even medicines to Armenia.
Turkey is hard hit itself by the virus outbreak which has killed nearly 1,300 people but it is still finding the resources to help other countries in need.
In recent weeks, Turkey has supplied masks, hazmat suits and hydroalcoholic gel to Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, all among the worst hit in Europe.
Turkey’s humanitarian aid reflex is not new, Jana Jabbour, a Turkish diplomacy expert at Sciences Po university in Paris, pointed out.
"President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has always wanted to position Turkey has a ‘humanitarian power’," quick to rescue those in need, whether they are oppressed Muslim minorities or countries hit by natural disasters, Jabbour told AFP. But unlike Ankara’s usual interventions, Turkey is now also supporting developed countries -- which are more used to helping than being helped. - AFP