Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Evacuation and Treatment of the Wounded in Libya;
Today, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced that Turkey has dispatched the M/F Ankara Ferry to Libya to help evacuate and treat the wounded. Multiple government agencies in Turkey coordinated an effort to convert the M/F Ankara Ferry into a hospital ship, following a directive by Turkish Prime Minister Erdo?an.
The ship was dispatched to Misurata in Libya, where intense clashes are taking place. The wounded will be treated in Turkey. To ensure the smooth success of the mission of the Ankara Ferry, Turkey engaged in intensive talks and coordination with the relevant parties in Libya through its diplomatic missions and through the personal involvement of Foreign Minister Davutoglu.
Despite the security risks at the port, the Ankara Ferry docked along the Misurata Port on April 2, under the protection of the Turkish Armed Forces. Twelve F-16 jets taking off from Bandirma and Dalaman and four tanker planes from Incirlik airbases, as well as the TCG Yildirim Frigate, joined in the operation to provide protection to the ship.
The ferry transported 230 wounded and 60 others from Misurata and sailed towards Benghazi late last night. It is expected to arrive at Benghazi at 17.00 hours local time today and will return to Turkey after boarding the wounded who require urgent treatment. A medical team of 15 experts, including eights doctors, four nurses, two healthcare experts and one anesthetist are treating the wounded on board the ship.
The Turkish Red Crescent and the Turkish Ministry of Health are collaborating to arrange for the wounded to be transferred to hospitals nearby.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated that its priorities in Libya remain the protection of civilians, the establishment of the cease-fire and the continuation of humanitarian assistance without any interruption.