Solidarity of Rwanda will always be remembered

By Aslan Alper Yüksel
On 17 February 2023 at 03:28

Views expressed in this article are of the author. Aslan Alper Yüksel is the Ambassador of Türkiye in Rwanda.

Türkiye faced the most devastating natural disaster of its history. On 6 February 2023, two major earthquakes of 7.7 and 7.6-magnitude centered in Kahramanmaraş province, subsequently hit the southern region of the country within only 8 hours, leaving tens of thousands of our people in more than 10 provinces killed or injured.

Seven-day national mourning period was observed following this unprecedented catastrophe. Meanwhile, search and rescue teams have been relentlessly working to save precious lives and revive the hopes for the rapid and strong recovery of the region.

In the wake of this disaster of epic proportions, Rwanda has become one of the first countries to show her solidarity and express sympathy for the victims and their families at the highest level.

H.E. President Paul Kagame extended his message of condolences to H.E. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and to the Turkish people, on the very day the earthquakes struck our nation. Honorable Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta visited the Embassy to sign the condolences book and had a telephone conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister to convey his empathy and support.

Furthermore, the Government of Rwanda has made a meaningful contribution to the humanitarian relief efforts in Türkiye. This marked a significant and unforgettable milestone in our cordial relations as “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. We are grateful.

We have also received numerous condolence messages from the individuals, institutions as well as representatives of various communities in Rwanda which were all sincere, deeply moving and consoling.

Former students who graduated from Turkish universities under Türkiye Scholarships, raised donations for their brothers and sisters in their second home country. Following the disaster, we learned with relief that about 270 Rwandans who are currently residing in Türkiye are safe and sound.

All these developments are concrete and vivid signs of how solidly the relationship between two nations are grounded. On this occasion, we owe a sincere debt of gratitude to the friendly Government and people of Rwanda.

Aslan Alper Yüksel presented credentials to President Paul Kagame in February this year to represent Türkiye in Rwanda.