PM Erdogan set to visit flood-stricken Pakistan next month
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has decided to pay a visit to flood-stricken Pakistan next month, after Turkey's Sept. 12 referendum on a constitutional amendment package. In the meantime, Erdogan is appealing for more international aid to the country, devastated by floods which have killed over 2,000 Pakistanis and forced more than 4 million people from their homes. The Pakistani government says more than 20 million people need shelter, food and clean water. Erdogan also plans to attend the UN General Assembly meeting in New York in October and call on the world to do their share to end the misery in Pakistan. In a speech to the UN, the prime minister will ask world leaders to speed up efforts to send humanitarian aid to Pakistan. Thus far Turkey has donated more than $10 million to the country and sent humanitarian aid worth over $2 million. In a nationwide aid campaign launched last week, Erdogan stressed that no country can overcome such a devastating disaster on its own. In related news, Erdogan's wife Emine Erdogan is planning to visit the deluge-stricken country before her husband. She will be accompanied by State Minister for Family and Women's Affairs Selma Aliye Kavaf. The two will reportedly work with Pakistani officials to take some Pakistani children orphaned by the floods to Turkey, where they will be placed in Social Services and Child Protection Agency (SHCEK) orphanages. Emine Erdogan is also planning to hold a charity iftar (fast-breaking dinner) at the Surmeli Istanbul Hotel benefitting the aid efforts. Many Turkish celebrities are expected to attend.