In a phone call on Friday, the Turkish president thanked his Russian counterpart for his solidarity over the devastating Feb. 6 earthquakes that hit the country's southern region.
"President (Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan thanked President (Vladimir) Putin for displaying solidarity with Türkiye over the earthquakes," according to the Turkish presidency.
The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes, centered in Kahramanmaras, struck 10 other Turkish provinces — Hatay, Gaziantep, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Adana, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, Sanliurfa, and Elazig. Some 13.5 million people have been affected by the devastating tremors. Condolences have poured in from around the world, expressing solidarity with Türkiye, with many countries sending rescue teams and aid.
Also, addressing the developments regarding the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war on its 1st anniversary, Erdoğan stressed "the need for achieving a just peace to prevent further loss of life and destruction."
"Expressing Türkiye's sincere wish for the revival of the (grain) deal reached in Istanbul, President Erdoğan pointed out that Ankara stands ready to provide every kind of support in this regard," the presidency noted.
On Feb. 24, 2022, in an attack that Ukrainian authorities later said they already knew was inevitable at least a few days in advance, Russian forces crossed into Ukraine from the north, south, and east of the country.
Over 8,000 civilians have been killed and nearly 13,300 others injured since what Russia started what it called "a special military operation" in Ukraine, according to the latest UN figures.
Last July, Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February 2022.