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Τurkey gives green light for Cyprus rescue team

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After declining a rescue team helping to assist from Cyprus, Turkey has now given the go-ahead in the aftermath of the deadly earthquake.

Turkey has accepted Cyprus’ assistance of rescue teams following one of the worst natural disasters in its history in which thousands of lives have perished, according to the Cypriot Foreign Ministry.

Ministry spokesperson Demetris Demetriou posted on his Twitter account Wednesday that the EU Civil Protection Mechanism informed Cyprus that Turkey had accepted its offer to send a rescue team.

On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Kornelios Korneliou told CNA that “we conveyed this readiness through the European Civil Protection Mechanism and the Greek Cypriot negotiator, Menelaos Menelaou”, however the offer of help was not accepted by the Turkish side.

Cyprus Civil Defence has a rescue team of 21 people ready to assist in the international rescue operation.

The combined death toll in Turkey and Syria has risen to over 11,200.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that the death toll from Monday’s quake had reached 8,754.

Combined with the 2,470 known deaths in Syria, the total official death toll is 11,224.

The World Health Organization has suggested the final toll could rise as high as 20,000.

A similar-sized earthquake in the region in 1999 killed at least 17,000 people.