Turkey authorizes transfer of ventilators to Spain

Turkish foreign minister on April 4 said the government authorized the transfer of ventilators to Spain, and dismissed reports claiming that the Turkish administration sought to confiscate medical equipment amid COVID-19 outbreak.

"Confiscating [medical] products is an ugly accusation," Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in a live broadcast and added that the Spanish Foreign Ministry corrected reports as well.

Notably, in a Twitter post, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya confirmed Çavuşoğlu's remarks, and said Spain appreciated the "gesture of a friend and ally".

Çavuşoğlu said a total of 94 countries requested medical equipment and items from Turkey in a bid to battle the virus, and it was not possible to meet the needs of all as the country itself needed such equipment.

Exporting medical items are required to have the authorization of the Health Ministry, he said, adding that Turkey has so far dispatched medical items to 23 countries.

Turkish top diplomat accused some private medical companies of seeking to make more money, without giving names, and making agreements with different actors without informing relevant Turkish authorities.

"[Private companies] go and make contacts with some countries, they put the country [Turkey] in a difficult situation for the sake of earning money. This is not right," he said.

"We have authorized [export of] 116 ventilators to Spain following the instructions of the Health Ministry, and they will be sent to Spain in the coming days," he said, adding Turkey was an ally of Spain.

He further noted that Turkey has provided support recently, and the move was highly appreciated by the Spanish authorities.

COVID-19 has so far claimed 156 Turkish citizens living abroad, and...

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