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Israel quake aid for Turkey divides opinion

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Israel quake aid for Turkey divides opinion


Cold, wet weather is adding to the misery for the thousands of Turkish earthquake victims.

Relief has been pouring into Ercis after much of the town of 80,000 was destroyed.

Foreign aid has also started to arrive after Turkey said it would accept outside help.

The news that Israel is among the donors has not pleased some who remember its attack on a Turkish aid flotilla bound for Gaza.

“I’m an Ercis resident and I don’t want Israel’s help. A year ago they martyred nine of our people. We don’t want their help. Turkey is strong enough anyway,” said survivor Orhan Gocmen.

As well as Israel, Germany, Russia and Ukraine are sending housing units, blankets and clothing. The UN says it is also sending tents and mattresses. Turkey has said it will accept help to house survivors through the winter.

The need is acute, and among many there has been only frustration as they try to register to be allocated a tent.

Some, who had queued for hours only to be told there were none left, accused officials in the mostly Kurdish region of favouring supporters of Turkey’s ruling AK party. Others complained of a black market.

The government has said it will no longer hand out tents, but will deliver them to those whose houses are deemed unsafe to make sure they go to the neediest.

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