REVISED HEADLINE, DECK; UPDATED WITH DETAILS
By Ismet Karakas and Tanju Ozkaya
ANKARA (AA) - A Turkish plane carrying medical supplies flew from Ankara to Chad Tuesday to help the African nation with the coronavirus pandemic.
The supplies carried a message for Chadians, quoting 13th-century Sufi poet Mevlana Rumi: "After hopelessness, there is so much hope, and after darkness, there is the much brighter sun.”
Turkey’s Defense Ministry tweeted that the plane had arrived, adding: “Ambassador Kemal Kaygisiz, the Turkish Ambassador in Chad, welcomed the aircraft.”
A letter from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to his Chadian counterpart Idriss Deby Itno was entrusted to officials along with the supplies, the ministry added.
Turkey has helped at least 88 countries during the pandemic, including Italy, Spain, and the UK, making it the world's third-largest provider of aid amid the outbreak.
After originating in China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 188 countries and regions. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit areas.
The pandemic has killed over 348,000 worldwide with nearly 5.55 million confirmed cases, with recoveries of nearly 2.27 million.