A ferry with ambulances and medical equipment on board will sail soon to the north African country to bring to Turkey about 450 wounded people, deputy prime minister Cemil Cicek told the mass-circulation Hurriyet newspaper.
Asked whether the operation had the blessing of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, Cicek said: “Yes, Turkey is the only country to maintain contact with both sides… We will bring the wounded. There is a deal on that.”
Turkey, Nato’s sole predominantly Muslim member and a key regional player, has slammed the Western-led air strikes on Libya, vowing to “never point a gun at the Libyan people” and stressing the need for humanitarian aid efforts.
On Thursday, the Turkish parliament approved the dispatch of a naval force to Libyan waters as the Islamist-rooted government moved reluctantly to join the military campaign in the conflict-torn country.
Ankara has pledged six vessels to a Nato patrol mission to enforce a UN arms embargo against Gaddafi’s regime.