Turkey’s volunteer doctors examine Syrian war victims

By Abdullah Dogan

KONYA, Turkey (AA) – A group of Turkish volunteer doctors, associated with an Istanbul-based non-governmental organization, have been treating Syrian war victims in regions cleared of terrorists.

The volunteers from Alliance of International Doctors (AID) examined patients in Syrian regions of Idlib and Afrin, which was liberated by Turkish troops from YPG/PKK terrorists.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian branch.

Necati Ozkan, the NGO's local chair in central Turkish province of Konya, told Anadolu Agency on Thursday that they have been serving people of Syria for many areas.

In addition to doctors, dentists and pharmacists are also helping victims in the war-torn country.

A total of 50 volunteer doctors and 150 sanitarians repeatedly visit the Syrian regions to treat patients.

"Last week our seven doctors went to Afrin. Our volunteer friends — including family doctors, eye doctors and infectious diseases physicians — treated 600 patients in two days in Idlib and Afrin, where Turkish army had provided peace and (volunteers) supplied medicine," Ozkan said.

He said they are planning to send three to four doctors to these areas every month, adding there aim is to treat an average of 500 patients every month in average.

Noting that medical equipment worth nearly $78,000 were provided in the Syrian provinces, Ozkan said they built three hospitals — two polyclinics and a medical center to follow maternal and infant health — in Idlib.

The conflict in Syria began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

Turkish students volunteer in 2 African countries

By Gokhan Kavak

ABUJA, Nigeria (AA) – Turkish students are volunteering in the African nations of Chad and Mozambique as part of a program run by the Turkish state aid agency.

In the central African nation of Chad, the students volunteers visited the Furkan Orphanage in the capital N'Djamena and gave it a fresh coat of paint under the Experience Sharing Program of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).

Omer Faruk Agan, a student volunteer, told Anadolu Agency that his experience volunteering at the orphanage was invaluable.

"We came here as TIKA volunteers, to spend time with the children and help them," he said.

Bugra Duman of TIKA said they had seen the entire orphanage, including “the classrooms, living rooms, and the kitchens."

The young volunteers concluded their task by paying a visit to a local radio show to speak on Turkish-Chadean relations.

Under the same TIKA program Turkish students visited the southern African nation of Mozambique.

The student volunteers visited the Reserva Especial de Maputo conservation area and learned about nature photography.

The project enabled students of both countries to share their experiences and outlook on taking photos of living things. The project will continue to give the volunteers practical training.

TIKA, Turkish Airlines, Anadolu Agency, and Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) co-organized the 2018 Experience Sharing Program.

Under the program, TIKA is sending some 500 Turkish students from 117 universities to 30 countries between July 29 and Sept. 8 to take part in nearly 100 projects and activities in their host countries.

The program covers such countries as Niger, Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Djibouti, Chad, Morocco, Ghana, Georgia, Cameroon, Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Colombia, Lebanon, Macedonia, Mozambique, Namibia, Uzbekistan, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Jordan, Moldova and South Africa.

Turkish medical teams healing lives near Syrian border

By Halil Fidan

KILIS, Turkey (AA) – Volunteer medical teams in the southern Turkish city of Kilis are working 24 hours a day to heal both soldiers and civilians from across the border in Syria.

Alongside the counter-terrorist Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria, near Turkey’s border, a 120-strong Turkish National Medical Rescue Team (UMKE) from across Turkey is racing against time to heal the wounded.

The team — all volunteers — works tirelessly to heal wounded Turkish soldiers, members of the allied Free Syrian Army (FSA), as well as Syrian civilians and then send them to nearby hospitals.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Seyma Temizer, 24, said she has six years’ experience as a nurse and joined the UMKE after serving in eastern and southeastern Turkey.

"This place feels completely different," said Temizer, who has been in Kilis for only a week.

"We’re giving first aid to Turkish and FSA soldiers as well as Syrian civilians. This place requires a totally different psychological approach."

Mehmet Karacakaya, head of Emergency Medical Services in the central city of Sivas, told Anadolu Agency that many medical professionals from around Turkey stepped up to volunteer.

"We’re here from Sivas with 22 people," he said.

"We’re working with passion nonstop. We have all the medical equipment we need, thanks to our government."

Turkey on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, Syria.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist cruelty and oppression.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

The military has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming any civilians.

Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012, when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without a fight.