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42 Turkish citizens evacuated from Gaza return to Trkiye

A group of 42 Turkish citizens evacuated from Gaza arrived in Istanbul via Egypt on Sunday afternoon.

The Turkish citizens, who were facilitated by the Turkish Foreign Ministry and transported by a Turkish Airlines (THY) plane from the Egyptian capital Cairo, were greeted with flowers at the airport’s VIP entrance by Ambassador Ayse Sozen Usluer, the Istanbul Representative of the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

“We extend our condolences to the martyrs in Gaza, wish patience to their families, and speedy recovery to the wounded,’ Ambassador Usluer told Anadolu.

‘The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government of the Republic of Trkiye will continue their efforts to end the relentless brutality in Gaza,’ she said.

“As you know, immediately after the crisis began, we were able to evacuate 30 of our citizens, but due to the closure of the Rafah Border Crossing, these evacuations were interrupted. However, our diplomatic efforts in the background continued uninterrupted.

‘At the moment, we are facilitating th
e return of 42 more citizens to our country. The Turkish Foreign Ministry continues to support evacuations from crisis areas, including Turkish citizens and citizens of friendly and brotherly countries,” she added.

Evacuee thanks Trkiye’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency

Usame Darabeh, an evacuee, told Anadolu that he went to Gaza for his father’s funeral and was stranded there when the attacks began.

“My father passed away before the war started. I went to Gaza to attend his funeral, and that’s when the war started,” Darabeh, who first came as a Palestinian computer engineering student and then married his college fellow, said.

‘Our evacuation was planned, but Israeli forces bombed the Egyptian border crossing,’ he said, adding ‘Due to the risk, we all returned.’

‘Because of the Israeli bombardment, we moved to the south of Gaza. During this time, I was in contact with my wife in Samsun. She was constantly in touch with the authorities in our country,’ he said, explaining how he later return
ed to Trkiye by crossing the Egyptian border.

He expressed his gratitude to Trkiye’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) for welcoming the group on the Egyptian side, saying AFAD officials took great care of them and then made arrangements for their return to Trkiye.

“My wife will give birth in two weeks. A daughter will be born. I will be there when she is born. I thank everyone for making me experience these emotions. For my remaining mother and siblings, I also request assistance from our government,’ he said, expressing his happiness at being able to return home.

After passport control, those who had a place to stay in Istanbul were bused out of the airport, while others were accommodated in hotels by AFAD officials.

Israel has killed more than 12,300 Palestinians in its air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip since the surprise offensive by Hamas. The official Israeli death toll, meanwhile, stands at about 1,200.

Thousands of buildings, including hospitals, mosques, and churches, ha
ve either been damaged or destroyed in Israel’s relentless strikes on the besieged enclave.

An Israeli blockade has also cut Gaza off from fuel, electricity, and water supplies, and reduced aid deliveries to a trickle.

Israel has rejected growing calls for a cease-fire until the release of hostages held by Hamas.

Source: EN – Anadolu Agency