Head of the EU Delegation to Türkiye, Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, in Kahramanmaraş, Epicentre Of The Earthquake
Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, Head of the EU Delegation to Türkiye; Devrig Velly, Head of the EU Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Operations (ECHO) in Türkiye; Miray Akdağ, Press Advisor for the EU Delegation to Türkiye; Deniz Can Akkaya, Policy Specialist and İlhan Güvel, ECHO Programme Specialist, carried out field visits on 16 March in Kahramanmaraş, the epicentre of the earthquakes that struck on 6 February.
During the visit, the Delegation met with the earthquake survivors and inspected the container shelters of the Technical Cooperation and Development Agency ACTED.
Afterwards, the Delegation met Mustafa Buluntu, President of the Kahramanmaraş Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Mustafa Narlı, President of the Kahramanmaraş Commodity Exchange; Hanifi Öksüz, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of KİPAŞ Holding and members of the Board of Directors and exchanged ideas about the needs for the recovery period following the earthquake. Remarking that he came to the city to listen to the sector representatives, Landrut reminded that a Donors’ Conference would be organised in Brussels on Monday and said: "The better we understand the problems, the more targeted international assistance will be. As the EU, we aim to mobilise international support for Türkiye and the Turkish people as much as possible."
The Delegation visited the Governor of Kahramanmaraş Ömer Faruk Coşkun and Mayor Hayrettin Güngör and expressed the EU's support in the reconstruction process in the aftermath of the earthquake.
Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer Landrut and his Delegation visited the European Capacity Reserve (#RescEU) Shelter Site at Kahramanmaraş Sütçü İmam University and observed the 500 prefabricated shelters provided by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency MSB. During the visit, 86 of the shelters financed by EU ECHO and equipped with beds and heaters were handed over to AFAD.
The Delegation also visited the mobile food kitchen, distribution centres and tent cities of the Kahramanmaraş Metropolitan Municipality operated by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and observed the activities on site.
Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, Head of the EU Delegation to Türkiye, met with members of the press during his visit to the mobile kitchen and said: "First of all, I would like to start by expressing my condolences to all those who lost their loved ones. I would also like to extend my sympathies to those who were injured, lost their homes and lost their livelihoods. I have had the opportunity to visit certain sites today. I had the opportunity to see formal camps and informal tent cities alike. We also saw container accommodation units provided by the European Union. Now we are at a food kitchen to see the work of the World Food Programme in a completely different dimension of the efforts, providing food. Food is of course one of the most basic needs people have and I was really impressed by the kitchen I visited today. But this food kitchen is just one of many in the region supported by the World Food Programme. Today, the international community, the European Union and United Nations organisations are working together to meet urgent humanitarian needs. We will continue to support meeting these needs. The European Union is not only here to provide this kind of assistance now, but also wishes to continue to provide this assistance in the future and to support Türkiye in its rehabilitation and reconstruction processes. To this end, a Donors' Conference is being organised in Brussels on 20 March Monday. Those who want to support Türkiye will come together at this conference. Therefore, my visit here today is not only to see today's needs. I am also here to observe new infrastructure needs, the needs of the business community for the future and the needs for reconstruction. I had meetings today with the Governor, Mayor and the business community. We need to understand the needs in the best possible way so that we can mobilise the means at our disposal effectively to provide this support."