Turkey and the EU need structured cooperation in the field of civil protection, said the head of the EU Delegation to Turkey on Wednesday.

Speaking at an online meeting marking the 25th anniversary of Turkey’s Search and Rescue Association (AKUT), Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut said Turkey and the EU have been cooperating in the fields of disaster management and civil protection for many years.

Stating that the EU is working with Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), especially in the field of capacity-building, Meyer-Landrut said:

“We see this as bilateral cooperation. We learn from each other as we collaborate and share with each other. We’re also pleased that Turkey takes part in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism as a participating country.”

The EU sees Turkey as a valuable partner for preparing for disasters well and being able to respond properly, he added.

All countries participating in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism have different experiences with disasters and disaster management, he said, adding that this creates a solidarity and cooperation mechanism.

“Our ultimate goal here is to share practices that will protect our citizens against disasters.”

Pointing out that AKUT is an organization registered in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism pool, he said it will also take part as a field partner in a comprehensive earthquake exercise this fall in Turkey’s northwestern Tekirdag province.

He added that the EU Module Exercise will last three days and feature experts from the EU and Turkey.

Meyer-Landrut emphasized that it is necessary to prepare for risks by considering worst-case scenarios, and added: “Preparation is extremely important to reduce risks. There is a serious earthquake risk in Istanbul, but earthquake isn’t the only risk we face. We also face other risks arising from climate change.”

*Writing by Seda Sevencan

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