BEIRUT 

Turkey continues its efforts to support the Lebanese people after the last week’s blast at the Beirut Port.   

Saida Turkish Hospital, built by Turkey nearly 10 years ago but did not start its services due to some issues caused by the Lebanese government, is planned to be opened upon the instructions of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

President Erdogan appointed Dr. Serkan Topaloglu from Turkey’s Health and Food Policies Committee as a special envoy in order to start the process to open the hospital for patients. 

Topaloglu evaluated the current situation of the hospital and the reasons it remained closed, in coordination with the Turkish Health Ministry, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency and the Turkish Embassy in Lebanon.  

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab received Topaloglu and his team on Thursday. Diab thanked Erdogan for extending help to his country following the blast.  

Expressing his gratitude to Turkey for appointment of a special envoy in order to open the Saida Turkish Hospital, the Lebanese premier said he will be closely watching the process and has given the necessary instructions to his country’s Health Ministry.

– Hospital will open as soon as possible

Topaloglu and his team also met with Lebanon’s Health Minister Hamad Hassan in bilateral and inter-delegation meetings.

Topaloglu extended condolences to the Lebanese people over loss of lives in the blast, and said they want the Turkish hospital to open as soon as possible.

With some minor technical support, the hospital will be ready to admit patients, and Turkey will do whatever necessary for this, he said.

Technical details about the administration of the hospital will be finalized tomorrow and an action plan will be prepared, Topaloglu added.

Hamad recalled that Turkey was “very quick” to send aid following the explosion, saying Lebanon really needs a hospital like this to open.

– ‘Turkey always stands by Lebanon’

Topaloglu along with his team and Lebanese health minister and bureaucrats also visited Saida Turkish Hospital for inspection and spoke to media about decisions taken to open the hospital.

Turkey stands by all Lebanese people without any discrimination, Topaloglu said.

Saida Turkish Hospital will be a great help for Lebanon especially during the pandemic, and following the Beirut blast and its services will also be critical for trauma patients.

Lebanese press also wrote extensively about the opening of the hospital.

Topaloglu met with the family of a Turkish citizen who was critically injured in the blast.

As soon as his health condition allows, Topaloglu said, the citizen will be sent to Turkey with an ambulance aircraft and his treatment will continue in Turkey.

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