Turkey declines disaster assistance from Armenia, other nations

As it continues to grapple with the aftermath of a massive earthquake, Turkey has declined disaster assistance from Armenia and Israel, two nations with which Ankara has strained relationships, according to Reuters.

Ankara's rejection of most offers of help -- including from the U.S., Britain and Germany -- comes as workers continue to sift through the rubble caused by the magnitude-7.2 earthquake that struck on Sunday. The death toll so far is at 239.

Reuters is reporting that Turkey has only accepted aid from Iran, Azerbaijan and Bulgaria.

Turkey has had a strained, if not stormy, relationship with Israel over its military raid on a Turkish ship leading an aid flotilla to Gaza last year. And Armenia has for years been locked in a battle with Turkey over recognizing the Armenian Genocide in 1915, in which more than 1 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks.

Turkish officials say the decision to decline assistance was not politically motivated.


-- Jason Wells, Times Community News