From The Economist
SOMETIMES it takes a tragedy. The earthquake that struck Turkey’s mainly Kurdish province of Van on October 23rd, killing at least 481 people, triggered an outpouring of solidarity. Millions of Turks donated to relief campaigns. Convoys of volunteers drove thousands of miles from Istanbul to help dig for survivors in Van, an impoverished and mountainous province that borders Iran. Mustafa Sarigul, the mayor of a posh borough in Istanbul, offered free housing and education to 1,000 children left homeless by the quake.
This afternoon, the first Israeli assistance airlift was due to fly out to the disaster area in Eastern Turkey with portable homes and buildings. Ankara has requested help from Israel and 30 other countries to repair damage from the strong earthquake that has caused the death of more than 400 people so far.
Turkey is mainly interested in receiving portable homes and buildings to house refugees whose homes were destroyed in the earthquake, as well as equipment for rescuing people trapped under the rubble. The office of Minister of Defense Ehud Barak said that, "After receiving a request from the Turkish government in Ankara, it instructed the defense establishment to fly out special aid to Turkey following the earthquake."