Skip to main content

Turkey earthquake: International support and offers of aid

International offers to help Turkey and Syria with rescue efforts pour in the aftermath of powerful earthquake that has killed hundreds
A man carries a girl following the earthquake, in the rebel-held town of Jandaris, Syria, on 6 February 2023 (Reuters)

Dozens of governments and international organisations have responded with offers of support to Turkey and Syria after a powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.8 killed hundreds of people.

The earthquake wreaked widespread devastation, leaving thousands injured, and countless others trapped under rubble.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that 45 countries have responded and offered help with search-and-rescue efforts.

Below are some of the international reactions, and announcements of support to Turkey and Syria:

World Health Organisation

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked


WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the organisation's network of emergency medical teams has been activated to provide essential healthcare for the injured and most vulnerable affected by the earthquake.

European Union

The European Union said it was sending rescue teams to Turkey after Ankara requested EU assistance, with more than 10 search-and-rescue teams mobilised.

"Urban Search and Rescue teams have been quickly mobilised from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, France, Greece, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania to support the first responders on the ground," the European Commission said in a statement.

EU crisis management commissioner Janez Lenarcic said the EU's 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre had activated its emergency Copernicus satellite mapping service to help first responders working on the ground.

The EU said it was also ready to support those affected in Syria, but said it had not yet received a request from the country to activate the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism, which coordinates assistance from the EU and other European countries.

Italy, Spain and Slovakia have offered their rescue teams to Turkey as well.

Spain said it was sending drones and a contingent from its Emergency Military Unit, a branch of the armed forces responsible for providing disaster relief.

Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said Poland is sending a search-and-rescue group of 76 firemen and eight rescue dogs to Turkey.

Greece has instructed specialised teams to be immediately dispatched to assist rescue efforts, including its 25-strong Special Disaster Unit (EMAK).

Meanwhile, the Czech fire service said it was sending a 68-member urban search-and-rescue team.


Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg expressed his full solidarity to Turkey, writing on Twitter that he is in touch with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavuslogu.

"Nato allies are mobilising support now," Stoltenberg said.


The emergency situations ministry in Azerbaijan said it has deployed a team of 370 rescuers to Turkey on a plane.

Azeri local media reported that Baku will also dispatch a plane with humanitarian aid, including rescue equipment, tents, bedding and medical supplies.


British Foreign Minister James Cleverly said the UK will immediately send 76 emergency response specialists, dogs and equipment to Turkey.

The foreign ministry said it would send four dogs as well as equipment to cut concrete, tools to support buildings and seismic listening devices, following a request from Turkey. 


President Vladimir Putin sent messages to Turkey and Syria expressing condolences and offering aid.

"We hope for a speedy recovery for all the injured and are ready to provide the assistance needed to overcome the impact of this natural disaster," Putin told his ally Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Kremlin said it had emergency rescue Ilyushin-76 planes on standby to fly to the two countries. 

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has also ordered Russian forces in Syria to help with the rescue effort.

United States 

US President Biden has directed USAID and other federal government partners to assess response options to the most affected areas in the Turkey and Syria earthquake, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.

Biden wrote on Twitter he was "deeply saddened" by the loss of life and devastation in both countries.


The government said two teams from India's National Disaster Response Force, composed of 100 personnel with specially trained dog squads and equipment, were ready to be flown to the disaster area for search and rescue operations.

Medical teams were being readied and relief material was being sent in coordination with the Turkish authorities.

United Arab Emirates

UAE's President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan expressed solidarity with Turkey and Syria in phones calls with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Sheikh Mohammed offered to provide assistance in their efforts to mitigate the impact of the earthquake.


Taiwan’s fire department said a team of 40 rescuers along with three search-and-rescue dogs and four to five tonnes of aid would leave for Turkey on Monday. It previously said it was ready to offer a team of 130 people, along with five search dogs and 13 tonnes of aid, and was awaiting Turkey's response.


Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi expressed Iran's readiness to provide "immediate relief aid to these two friendly nations", offering condolences on the "heartbreaking incident".


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said all authorities have been instructed to make immediate preparations to provide medical and search-and-rescue assistance to Turkey.

Netanyahu added that Israel is prepared to extend that aid to Syrian victims as well.

"Since a request was also received to do this for many victims of the earthquake in Syria, I instructed to do this as well," he said at a ceremony in a hospital near Tel Aviv, without elaborating on who had made the request.

The Syrian pro-government newspaper Al Watan cited an official source as denying Damascus had made such a request of Israel, however.

An Israeli official earlier told Reuters that the request was made by "the Syrians". Asked if this referred to opposition members or to President Bashar al-Assad's government, the official said only: "Syria."

A second Israeli official said the request had been relayed to the Netanyahu government "by a diplomatic source".


Egypt said it stands ready to help Turkey and Syria "face this disaster", and offered condolences to both countries.


Ukraine said it is coordinating with Turkish authorities and stands ready to send a large group of rescue workers to spport relief missions..

'We are in this moment close to the friendly Turkish people, ready to provide the necessary assistance," President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Twitter.

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.