Western Balkans leaders sign condolence books at Turkish embassy

Western Balkans leaders sign condolence books at Turkish embassy

Mosques across Balkans hold absente funeral prayers, many place flowers in front of Turkish embassies to honor quake victims

By Talha Ozturk

BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - Leaders and senior politicians from Western Balkan nations signed condolence books Friday at Turkish embassies in their respective capitals to honor earthquake victims in Türkiye.

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic signed the condolence book after being greeted by Turkish Ambassador to Belgrade, Hami Aksoy.

"The Republic of Serbia and its people share the pain and sorrow of the friendly Turkish people. We are ready to provide the necessary assistance,'' wrote Brnabic.

Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic also visited the embassy and signed.

Officials from the Bosniak National Council (BNV), a representative body of the Bosniak national minority in Serbia, signed the book at the Novi Pazar Consulate General.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjartt signed the book in Budapest.

Montenegrin Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic signed in Podgorica.

"The people of Montenegro stand by the friendly country Türkiye. Türkiye is more than a friend to us,'' he wrote.

Bosnia and Herzegovina's Foreign Minister Elmedin Konakovic signed in Sarajevo and conveyed patience to the survivors.

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and President Vjosa Osmani visited the Pristina Embassy.

"We are with you and we will do much more in the days to come,'' said Kurti.

Albanian Foreign Minister Olta Xhacka, said his country offered aid to Türkiye from the very first moments and would continue to do so.

Meanwhile, absentee funeral prayers were held for victims in the region with many attending and donations collected during prayers at mosques.

Numerous charity organizations in the Balkans collected a large amount of aid for Türkiye and its victims.

People left flowers in front of the Turkish Embassy in Sarajevo to honor the victims.

Bosnia and Herzegovina sent 140 people to assist Türkiye. Albania sent 53; Serbia 45; Croatia 40; Kosovo 30 and 15 from Montenegro.

More than 20,300 people in Türkiye were killed and over 80,000 injured after the two strong quakes hit the southern region early Monday, according to the latest figures.

The 7.7- and 7.6-magnitude earthquakes, centered in Türkiye's Kahramanmaras province, have affected 13 million people across 10 Turkish provinces, including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa.

In neighboring Syria, the death toll has climbed above 3,300, with more than 5,200 wounded.

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