NATO deploying shelters to quake-hit Turkey

BRUSSELS (AFP): NATO members have agreed to deploy shelters to ally Turkey to help provide accommodation for those left homeless by this week’s devastating earthquakes, the alliance said on Friday.

The “semi-permanent” shelters are usually used by NATO forces as headquarters for military operations and exercises.

“NATO stands in strong solidarity with our ally Turkiye, and the deployment of these shelter facilities will help to save lives,” said alliance secretary general Jens Stoltenberg.

The shelters can be equipped with a number of amenities including heating, power generators and medical treatment areas, NATO said.

The operation to deploy the shelters will be overseen by NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, US General Christopher Cavoli.

The quakes which struck Turkey and neighbouring Syria early on Monday killed more than 22,000 people and have left hundreds of thousands homeless in freezing winter conditions.

NATO members and countries from across globe have already rushed to send rescue teams and aid to Turkey.

The decision by the alliance to send help comes at a time when Turkey has angered other NATO members by stalling the bids of Finland and Sweden to join.