After explosions at a fireworks factory in northwestern Turkey, out of 189 staff, 74 people were heavily injured and two have died. “All kinds of measures are taken as of now,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan said he hoped to hear better news from the scene and that people returned to their families in a healthy condition.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca also said earlier that 85 ambulances, 2 air ambulances, and 11 medical rescue teams were sent to the scene in Sakarya province.
The blasts took place in the Hendek district of the province, at a factory employing some 150-200 people.
Three Cabinet members proceeded to the scene of the blasts: Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, and Family, Labor and Social Services Minister Zehra Zumrut Selcuk.
“Work between Turkey and Libya’s legitimate government must continue very seriously and decisively,” Erdogan said.
Turkish president also underlined that Ankara wants to “keep a close watch” on the developments in Libya as he informed that Turkish defense minister arrived in the civil-war-torned northern African country on Friday.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler arrived in Libya to review the activities carried out under a memorandum of understanding between the two countries.
Following the military ceremony at the Mitiga International Airport in the capital Tripoli, Akar and Guler went to the Defense Security Cooperation and Training Aid Advisory Command, which was created as part of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Turkey and Libya.
On Nov. 27, 2019, Ankara and Tripoli signed two MoUs: one on military cooperation and the other on maritime boundaries of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The maritime pact asserted Turkey’s rights in the Eastern Mediterranean in the face of unilateral drilling by the Greek Cypriot administration, clarifying that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus also has rights to the resources in the area. It went into effect on Dec. 8.
Following the military cooperation deal, Erdogan said Ankara may consider sending troops to Libya if the UN-recognized Tripoli government made such a request.
Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country’s new government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by warlord Khalifa Haftar’s forces.
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