By Tevfik Durul
ANKARA (AA) - Condolences from around the world are pouring in as a powerful earthquake in Turkey’s east claimed at least 22 lives and injured over 1,030 others.
The 6.8-magnitude quake hit eastern Elazig province at 8.55 p.m. local time (1755GMT) on Friday, with its epicenter in Sivrice district.
“[Russian President] Vladimir Putin sent heartfelt condolences to President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the loss of life and large-scale destruction caused by an earthquake in the Elazig province,” read a statement by Kremlin.
Josep Borrell Fontelles, the high representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, also expressed “full solidarity with the people of Turkey”.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Turkey, with the families of the victims of the devastating #earthquake that hit #Elazig, and all those injured or affected. We are following closely,” Fontelles wrote on Twitter.
Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias condoles with Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu and said Athens is ready to help Ankara.
Estonia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Urmas Reinsalu wrote on Twitter: “My deepest condolences to everyone who lost loved ones in the terrible earthquake in #Elazıg, Turkey.”
“I hope for a speedy recovery of all those injured. We are with the people of Turkey during this difficult time. @MevlutCavusoglu,” Reinsalu added.
Sweden’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ann Linde wrote: “Tragic news about the earthquake that hit Turkey. Our deepest condolences to all those affected.”
Croatia’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs also expressed solidarity with Turkey.
“Sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of tragic earthquake in #Elazig, expressing solidarity with the people of Turkey in this difficult time,” the ministry wrote on Twitter.
- ‘Bitter moment’
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said: “Very sad about news coming from our friend & partner #Turkey where a strong earthquake hit the city of #Elazig taking lives of many people. In this bitter moment, #Ukraine stays by Turkey and prays for those affected.”
Romania’s Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu wrote on Twitter: “Deeply saddened by the loss of lives caused by the #earthquake in #Turkey. Our wholehearted condolences and our good thoughts for the #Turkish people and the families of the victims.”
In a Twitter post, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said: “Expressing my solidarity with all those affected by the deadly earthquake in Turkey. My sincere condolences to the families of the victims, wishing fast recovery to all injured! @MevlutCavusoglu @MFATurkey.”
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius also expressed solidarity with the families of the victims.
“My thoughts are with the loved ones of the victims of the devastating earthquake in #Elazig, #Turkey. I sincerely wish full recovery to all the injured and express strong solidarity with the people of Turkey during this difficult time. @MevlutCavusoglu,” Linkevicius said.
Jordan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ayman Safadi said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the earthquake in #Turkey. We wish the injured a speedy recovery. We extend our deepest condolences to our brethren.”
Foreign Minister of North Macedonia Nikola Dimitrov said: “So sad to hear about the loss of life in today’s devastating earthquake in Turkey. Our hearts are with our Turkish friends. Stay strong #Turkey! Thinking of you dear @MevlutCavusoglu.”
The official Twitter account of Georgia’s Foreign Ministry also sent condolences.
“We would like to express our tremendous sympathy and sadness at the tragic earthquake in #Turkey. [Georgia] stands in full solidarity with our close ally and friend, we share grief of Turkish people and particularly families of victims and wish speedy recovery to all the injured,” the ministry added.
Edgars Rinkevics, Latvia’s foreign minister, wished speedy recovery for the injured.
“My condolences to the families of victims of the earthquake in #Turkey, I wish speedy recovery to all the injured and keep fingers crossed for search and rescue efforts @MevlutCavusoglu @MFATurkey,” Rinkevics wrote on Twitter.
European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic said that they were closely monitoring the situation in Turkey.
“Worrying news from eastern #Turkey just a while ago hit by a strong #earthquake. Saddened to hear about fatalities and hoping there will not be any more. Our #ERCC is closely monitoring the situation,” Lenarcic wrote.