A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit near Van in southeastern Turkey on Sunday near the border with Iran, Turkey's Kandilli Observatory and Research Institute said. Between 500 and 1,000 are feared dead.Israel has helped Turkey after other quakes, but that was before the current chill in relations between the two countries.
The institute said the earthquake struck at 10:41 am GMT and was 5 kilometers (three miles) deep. The US Geological Survey earlier reported that the magnitude was 7.6.
State-run news agency Anatolian said some buildings had collapsed. After shocks continued after the initial quake, Anatolian said.
IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz has instructed the army to get ready to aid Turkey in coping with the powerful quake. Gantz said that an IDF delegation will head to Turkey once it receives approval from the government.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak asked the head of the Political-Military Affairs section at the ministry, Amos Gilad to offer Turkey "all the help in needs".
The question is, has Turkey become so antagonistic towards Israel that they will spurn Israel's offer to help, the way Iran habitually does? If Turkey's rulers hate Israel more than they care about the lives of their people, that would tell us a mot about how important it is to try to bridge that diplomatic gap.