Turkey says it plans evacuation of some wounded, sick Gazan children on Friday

Minister says third round of evacuations has been delayed due to issues regarding permissions for their releases

By Reuters

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan visits a Palestinian cancer patient who was evacuated from Gaza to Egypt and brought to Turkey by plane, at Bilkent City Hospital in Ankara. — Reuters
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan visits a Palestinian cancer patient who was evacuated from Gaza to Egypt and brought to Turkey by plane, at Bilkent City Hospital in Ankara. — Reuters

Published: Thu 23 Nov 2023, 10:02 PM

Turkey plans to evacuate some wounded or sick Gazan children and young people on Friday as part of its third round of evacuation, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Thursday.

Turkey has so far brought 150 people, mostly cancer patients and their companions, from Gaza to continue their treatment. It has also evacuated more than 100 Turks, Turkish Cypriots, and their relatives this week.

Speaking at Ankara's Esenboga airport, Koca said three sick Gazan children had been brought to Turkey on Thursday. He added that the children — a two-year-old boy, as well as two girls aged 9 and 10 — would receive treatment in Turkey.

The third round of evacuations, consisting of a group of 50 people, has been delayed due to issues regarding permissions for their releases, the minister said, but added that those problems were now largely resolved and officials were working to complete the preparations.

"We expect the third evacuation to be tomorrow (Friday) and it will be an evacuation that will largely consist of children and young people," Koca told reporters.

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"There are less cancer patients (in the group), but it will be an evacuation that mostly consists of wounded children and young people," he said, adding that none of the people in the list of 50 were in critical condition.

Ankara has sent some 800 metric tonnes of humanitarian aid, medical supplies, medicine, and medical personnel to Egypt for Gazans. It has said it wants to set up a field hospital on the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing.

On Thursday, Koca said a coordination mechanism comprised of Turkish, Egyptian and Israeli officials was working to identify a suitable location for the field hospital.

"A team formed with Israel, Egypt, and Turkey's coordination is in Egypt, especially to conduct field work. We are at the stage of identifying a location," he said. "We want to take action as soon as possible."


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