The Financial Times reports that a Turkish ship carrying some 230 wounded from Misurata arrived in Benghazi on Sunday to chants of “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) as wounded men covered in bandages stood on the vessel and reciprocated with their own opposition songs. The ship is due to pick up more wounded in Benghazi before docking at a Turkish port where the casualties will be treated.
The Ankara, a cruise ship, has been fitted out for use as a hospital and was to pick up another 100 people from Benghazi before sailing to the Turkish port of Cesme, where hospitals were preparing to welcome them.
Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reports that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told a news conference at Ankara’s Esenboğa airport, before departing for neighboring Iraq, that Turkey has agreed to undertake to three tasks within NATO:
- the takeover of Benghazi airport for the delivery of humanitarian aid
- the task about control of the air corridor
- and the involvement of Turkish naval forces in the corridor between Benghazi and Crete.”
Turkey has been advocating broad-based participation in the Libyan mission – including the Arab League, the African Union and the Organization of the Islamic Conference – to secure a peaceful transition in Libya and meet the legitimate needs of the Libyan people.
Erdoğan said, “We have never been and will never be a country that would fire on and bomb conflicting sides in Libya”.