Turkish Aid Welcomed in Flood Hit Macedonia

Turkish aid has been welcomed in disaster-prone Macedonia where heavy rain killed at least 22 people and directly affected hundreds of others over the last week.

Flood-hit victims thanked Turkish relief organizations for their help during the heavy rainfall while accusing the Macedonian government of taking a discriminatory policy towards Muslim-populated areas in the country.

Stating that no aid has reached mostly Muslim-populated areas in Skopje, Murat Mahmuti, one of the flood-affected residents in the central Hasanbeg neighborhood of Skopje, claimed the non-Muslim villages were cleaned up right after the flood disaster.

"However, our villages have not been cleaned yet. We have asked [the municipality] for flood cleanup machines but we have not [received] any so far. Then we try to clean the mess by our own means," he said.

Mahmuti said the Macedonian Muslims appreciated Turkey's effort for their country. "Turkish aid means a lot to us. We wish our country helped us like Turkey did," he added.

Skopje was hit by the flood on Aug 7 when heavy rain, strong winds, and thunderstorms hit the city. The flood swept away streets, destroying hundreds of homes and vehicles.

The military took part in rescue operations and more than 1,000 people had been evacuated, according to officials.

The aid sent by the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), Turkish Red Crescent and the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) included food, clothes, and cleaning supplies.