JERUSALEM (JTA) – Turkey turned down Israel’s offer of aid following an earthquake in the east of the country.
The earthquake registering 6.0 on the Richter scale that struck early Monday has killed 41 villagers in eastern Turkey and injured 50, according to reports.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak reportedly instructed his staff to find ways that Israel could help in the aftermath, but Turkey reportedly refused the aid, saying it has the experience to handle the disaster.
In August 1999, Israel sent a 250-member rescue and recovery team and a field hospital to Turkey following an earthquake measuring 7.4 that killed 18,000.
Relations between Israel and Turkey have been strained in recent months, especially since the Gaza war last winter.