TURKEY has requisitioned respirators that were meant to be delivered to Spain.
Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha Gonzalez Laya, admitted yesterday that the Turkish Government has decided to keep the hundreds of respirators for ‘treatment of their own patients.’
The 50-year-old explained that in recent days Ankara has imposed restrictions on the export of medical devices, in order to ‘supply its own health system against the pandemic.’
The issue is that the requisitioned cargo had been manufactured in Turkey on behalf of a Spanish company that had bought components from China.
The equipment was paid for by the Ministry of Health and also by the autonomous governments of Castilla-La Mancha and Navarra.
The respirators were shipped from China but were held at Turkish customs since last Saturday, with the Turkish Government now deciding to keep them.
Gonzalez Laya has spoken with her Turkish counterpart three times this week in order to resolve the matter and so has the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, but without success, with the Spanish Government now considering the supplies lost.
Erdogan’s Government has assured Spain that the material will arrive within a ‘matter of weeks’, but the Spanish Foreign Ministry are skeptical.
This comes just a few days after Turkey became the second NATO member to answer Spain’s call for medical supplies in the fight against COVID-19.