A minute's silence was held for those who lost their lives in the earthquakes in Kahramanmaras at the European Parliament General Assembly convened in Strasbourg, France.
Speaking at the session on the current situation and aid efforts after the earthquakes, Janez Lenarcic, the EU Commission member responsible for crisis management, civil protection and humanitarian aid, started his speech by expressing his sincere condolences.
Stating that he visited Gaziantep last week, Lenarcic said, "The EU civil protection mechanism provided a total of 32 search and rescue teams and 6 medical teams from 21 EU member states and three other participating countries."
"We have allocated an additional 3 million euros to our humanitarian partners to meet the most urgent needs in the affected areas in Türkiye," using his statements, Lenarcic said:
"Taking into account the needs, the EU is determined to further increase support in the face of this unprecedented disaster. The EU Commission and EU Presidency Sweden will hold a donor conference next month in coordination with the Turkish authorities to mobilize international funds, supporting the people of Türkiye and Syria."
Lenarcic said: "The EU is committed to helping the population affected in Türkiye and Syria in the wake of the devastating earthquake, and I thank the very strong support I have received from this Parliament for this effort."
Stating that access to northwestern Syria is a "big challenge", Lenarcic mentioned Russia's compelling stance on this issue at the United Nations (UN) Security Council and said that the EU is in favor of opening more than one access point.
Lenarcic reiterated that contrary to the claims of the Bashar al-Assad regime, the EU's sanctions against the regime do not prevent the delivery of food, medicine, medical supplies and similar aid.
Lenarcic underlined that he will make the necessary effort to ensure that the aid reaches the hands of those in need both in Türkiye and Syria.
Nacho Sanchez Amor, EP's Türkiye rapporteur and member of the EP Group of Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, pointed out that the devastation was comparable to the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
"Türkiye is not Haiti. It is a big local player capable of protecting its own population with the support of Europe," Amor said.
Nacho Sanchez Amor emphasized that the EU's aid should maintain its momentum, all political concerns should be set aside and empathy should be established with the Turkish society.
Sergey Lagodinsky, who is the co-chairman of the Türkiye-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission on behalf of the EU, and German Deputy of the Greens/European Free Alliance, said that in many European cities, especially in Germany, the people mourn for their Turkish brothers.
"It's good that the EU Commission is working with member states to send money and equipment to Türkiye and Syria. But I've talked to people from Türkiye and Syria and they all make one call. To ensure that this aid reaches those who really need it and be able to do it immediately, not after a while."
Pointing out that the aid to Syria should not fall into the hands of the Assad regime, Lagodinsky called for the aid to be made to organizations that are not recognized by the regime, especially the White Helmets.
"Let's not let Bashar al-Assad decide who lives and who dies," Lagodinsky said.