In a visit to Ankara on 16 February 2023, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg offered NATO's deepest condolences to the Turkish people and all those affected by the devastating earthquakes of 6 February. He conveyed this message of solidarity in meetings with President Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
"This is the deadliest natural disaster on Alliance territory since the foundation of NATO. In your time of need, NATO stands with Türkiye," Secretary General Stoltenberg said. "Thousands of emergency response personnel have been deployed to Türkiye to support the relief efforts, including with search and rescue teams, firefighters, medical personnel and seismic experts," he said. "NATO Allies continue to provide support; military aircraft from the Netherlands, Norway, the UK and the United States are working day and night to transport international aid to Türkiye, and perform medical evacuations. Other Allies like Albania, Canada and Germany are providing financial and other types of aid; and across NATO, ordinary citizens are raising millions of euros in support to Türkiye. This is true and deep solidarity. I also welcome the contributions of our invitees Finland and Sweden, showing solidarity in action," he said.
The Secretary General highlighted that NATO is setting up temporary housing in Hatay province, and will use Allied strategic airlift capabilities to transport tens of thousands of tents to Türkiye in the coming days and weeks. "All of this will help to save lives," he said.
Later on Thursday, Mr Stoltenberg is visiting Incirlik Air Base, which is playing a vital role in the relief effort, and Iskenderun, which was severely affected by the earthquakes. He is being accompanied by Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, and is also meeting with NATO personnel who are on the ground to support and coordinate aid.