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ICMPD Director General visits Türkiye after earthquake catastrophe

20 March 2023


On 6-8 March 2023, ICMPD Director General Michael Spindelegger visited Türkiye, where he met Mr. Süleyman Soylu, Minister of Interior, Mr. Savaş Ünlü, the President of the Presidency of Migration Management and other high-level officials. The aim of the visit was to express ICMPD’s condolences following the catastrophe and its commitment to support Turkish authorities in the relief efforts in the affected regions, as well as to exchange updates and ideas for mid and long term support efforts.

Meeting with Deputy Minister of Interior at AFAD

On 6 March, the ICMPD Director General and his delegation, including Mr. Tamer Kilic, head of Regional Office Türkiye and Western Balkans, met the Deputy Minister of Interior, Prof Dr. Sabri Erdil at the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) to get an overall briefing of the situation and to exchange views on possible areas of support. Prof Edil presented a detailed account of the earthquake and the extensive damage it caused and expressed the need for support and solidarity from partners in order to overcome the consequences by the earthquake The delegation also visited the Crises Management Coordination Centre at AFAD.

Meeting at Presidency of Migration Management (PMM)

Following the visit to AFAD, the ICMPD delegation met with Mr. Savaş Ünlü, President of Presidency of Migration Management and Ambassador Mr. Nurdan Erpulat Altuntaş, Director General at the Directorate General for Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Presidency of Migration Management also organised an information meeting for Ambassadors and representatives of ICMPD’s Member States in Türkiye as well as the Head of the EU Delegation to Türkiye under the scope of Türkiye’s Chairmanship of the Steering Group of ICMPD in 2023. The meeting, chaired by President Dr. Savaş Ünlü, had the objectives on the one hand to provide information regarding priorities for Türkiye’s ICMPD Chairmanship and on the other hand to inform of the current situation following the devastating earthquakes in Kahramanmaraş and neighbouring provinces. "We developed and launched the idea of a ‘solidarity bridge between Türkiye and our other Member States’, and we are looking forward to working with them in addressing the current needs of Türkiye", said Director General, Michael Spindelegger.

Visit to Kahramanmaraş, the epicentre of the February 6 earthquakes


On 7 March 2023, Mr. Spindelegger travelled to Kahramanmaraş to get a first-hand impression from the region of the earthquakes and also to visit a Temporary Accommodation Centre, hosting Syrian refugees and also Turkish nationals who lost their homes due to the earthquakes.

Meeting with the Interior Minister in Kahramanmaras

In Kahramanmaraş, Mr. Spindelegger met with Mr. Süleyman Soylu, Minister of Interior, to express his sincere condolences. What is more, he added that ICMPD is working with its Member States and donor agencies to develop initiatives and projects to answer both immediate needs and needs for longer-term structural support. Mr. Soylu thanked him by and confirmed this initiative: “In these difficult times, we are happy to see our friends at our side. To answer the immediate needs by coming up with quick solutions and for longer term permanent solutions, we are open to all cooperation generously provided by organisations like yours.”

ICMPD and Türkiye have a long-standing cooperation and ICMPD runs offices in Ankara and Istanbul. Türkiye joined ICMPD as a Member State in 2018.