(Communicated by the Media Adviser to President Peres)
President Shimon Peres, earlier today (Sunday), 23 October 2011, telephoned Turkish President Abdullah Gul in order to offer Israeli assistance following the earthquake that struck eastern Turkey and to convey his condolences over the loss of life.
President Peres told his Turkish counterpart that, "The State of Israel shares in your sorrow following the earthquake that has claimed victims from among your people. I speak as a man, as a Jew and as an Israeli who remembers, and is well aware of, the depth of the historic relations between our two peoples and thus I send the condolences of the entire nation to the families of those who lost their lives. At this difficult time, the State of Israel is ready to render any assistance that may be required anywhere in Turkey, at any time."
Turkish President Gul thanked President Peres for the telephone call, the expression of condolences and the offer of assistance, and updated him on the scope of the damage and the number of casualties. He emphasized that according to the current picture, he hoped that Turkish rescue forces would succeed in their efforts.