Victims of Kirkuk attak express appreciation for Turkey's support
Victims of a weekend bombing in the northern Iraqi region of Kirkuk who were brought to Ankara for treatment at the order of President Abdullah Gul are saying they feel at home in Turkey. Eleven survivors of Saturday's attack in the Turkmen town of Taza Khurmatu are currently being treated in the Ankara and Diskapı hospitals in the capital. Two are in critical condition, according to Ersat Hurmuzlu, a presidential aide on Middle East affairs. Hurmuzlu, who visited the patients yesterday and conveyed Gul's get-well wishes, said Gul was closely monitoring the condition of the wounded and the situation in Taza Khurmatu. The relatives of wounded Turkmen were thankful for the help offered by Turkey, saying, "Turkey is also our country." In a separate story, over the last year-and-a-half, volunteer Turkish doctors have made health screenings possible for nearly 300,000 people worldwide, performed 20,000 surgeries and distributed nearly 10 tons of medicine, in addition to flying patients whose medical needs could not be met in their own countries to Turkey for treatment. With the support of the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA), the Health Ministry and various nongovernmental organizations, in 2008 alone 158 volunteer health care projects were carried out. The projects include a wide variety of medical work, including health screenings, surgeries, the construction of hospitals and clinics, and more.