Turkish President
Erdogan addresses the World Government Summit via video speech. Image Credit: Dubai Media Office

Dubai: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has thanked the UAE government and its people for the support provided in the aid, search and rescue operations in the aftermath of the earthquakes that rocked the nation on February 6.

Erdogan shared his thoughts in a televised video message on the second day of the World Government Summit in Dubai on Tuesday. “We will never forget the friendship you extended to us. During this process, we have received support and condolence messages from more than 100 countries, particularly the UAE, the host of this summit,” he said.


Erdogan said countries had demonstrated solidarity with Turkey by calling personally, dispatching rescue teams and organising aid campaigns. “I would like to thank once again in your presence all the friendly and brotherly countries who have been collecting aid for our nation day and night, supporting our search and rescue efforts with their teams, and keeping us in their prayers. We will never forget the friendship you extended to us during this difficult time.”

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake and its aftershocks struck southeastern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6, reducing towns to rubbles of concrete. The death toll has surpassed 37,000.

“Together with the adjacent cities where the tremors were felt, the disaster has affected up to 20 million people. According to scientists, the energy released by these earthquakes is as powerful as 500 atomic bombs,” stated the Turkish President.

Erdogan, who was supposed to attend the WGS in person, said: “I had planned to be there in person with you. However, due to the earthquakes, I am unable to attend.”

The President said Turkey would soon begin reconstructing and recovering its shattered cities. “We will quickly heal the wounds caused by this disaster.”

Erdogan also said the world faces many challenges, including natural disasters, climate change, migration and warfare. “Disruptions in the supply chain, natural disasters induced by climate change, the Russia-Ukraine war, the food and energy crises and rising global inflation all pose challenges to the global economy and development initiatives.”

Turkish security linked to Gulf

“Our stability and security are inextricably linked to that of the Gulf region,” he said. Aside from technology, space programme and renewable energy, Erdogan said Turkey prioritises the development of land and rail transportation infrastructure that will connect the Gulf region to Europe and Asia via Turkey.

“Currently, as crises besiege the global system, the significance of both bilateral and multilateral platforms has become apparent. In this equation, Turkey and the Gulf countries form the central axis for our region’s security, stability, prosperity, and economic integration,” he concluded.