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An Israeli cargo ship unloaded humanitarian aid Friday morning at Port of Mersin, in Turkey, for the victims of the past month’s deadly earthquakes that struck Turkey’s eastern region.
The ship, organized by the Defense Ministry, was carrying mobile homes which will be used to house the thousands of people left homeless following the tremors that struck the area near the city of Van. It docked late Thursday night.
The aid was sent per the request of the government in Ankara and the mobile homes were sufficient to house 1,000 people.
Homelessness became a serious issue in the quake zone as winter temperatures dropped and heavy snows began to fall last week.
The area was hit with a 7.2 magnitude quake in late October which killed 600 people and left thousands homeless.
Less than three weeks later, a second 5.7 erathquake struck 16km south of the city of Van, immediately killing five and burrying scores of victims under rubble.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on a visit to the area following the second quake, was met with with a mix of applause and jeers as he called for unity between the people and authorities working to provide relief.
Chants of “We want tents” could be heard as he began speaking, but there were cheers when he spoke of financial aid.
Erdogan promised permanent housing would be provided for the majority of those needing new homes by August next year, before pleading with people to enter tent camps established to see them through the winter.
Israel sent Turkey aid following the first earthquake to strike the area near Van, once home to nearly 100,000 people. The Defense Ministry sent a number of civilian aircraft to Turkey carrying prefabricated homes, warm blankets, and mattresses.
Turkey failed to soften its language towards Israel following the delivery of that aid, underlining ongoing diplomatic tensions between Jerusalem and Ankara.
Ankara did not comment on the most recent delivery of aid.
Reuters contributed to this report.
The International Expo for Jazz and World Music event will showcase the finest Israeli jazz and world musicians at top music venues, Yellow Submarine in Jerusalem and Levontin 7 in Tel Aviv. Over 1,000 people are expected to attend including 40 key figures in the international music industry – festival directors, promoters, artistic directors, producers and journalists.
Sponsored by the Cultural and Scientific Affairs Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Culture and Sport, International Expo for Jazz and World Music is directed by Barak Weiss, the Artistic Director of the Tel Aviv Jazz Festival. “Israel has witnessed an explosion in Jazz and World Music,” says Weiss. “The Israeli World Music scene is one of the richest and most dynamic in the world, largely owing to Israel’s multi-ethnic society”. However, according to Weiss, the demand for these music genres within Israel is still lower than the abundant supply and Israeli musicians need to reach out across the sea in order to continue making music.
Together with the Yellow Submarine, Weiss initiated this event and started “knocking on doors” over a year ago to raise sufficient funds. Although similar events have taken place before, this is by far the largest of its kind with 160 bands applying to perform, more distinguished guests taking part and first-time sponsorship by the Ministry of Culture.
The event will be opened by Eli Degibri, one of Israel’s most known and respected Jazz artists, and closed by oud-player, violinist and vocalist, Yair Dalal. Israeli pop star Ehud Banai will perform with two Arab Israeli musicians and Nino Bitton, the last remaining master of Algerian-Andalusian music, will perform with his Maghreb Orchestra. Other highlights include music by Omri Mor, the super-talented pianist as well as Albert Beger, one of Israel’s top veteran Jazz musicians. The line-up was selected by an artistic committee made up of Weiss, Dubi Lenz, Lea Lior and Daniel Sarid. Each performance is 30 minutes long, and the events are open to the public, most of them free.
Famous guests include Jo Frost, Chief Editor of the respected Songlines Magazine; Professor Ulrich Beckerhoff, the Artistic Director of Jazzahead! Germany, the largest European Jazz expo; Amanda Rotter, Artistic Director of the famous Wiener Konzerthaus; Janusz Makuch, director of the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, a delegation of four Jazz club owners from Paris and Wang Yunrong, Vice President of the Beijing National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA). All of the foreign cultural attaches that are stationed in Israel are also invited.
Weiss is serious about getting Israeli talent out there. He aims to make this event an annual one in order to create exposure for Israeli musicians. He also plans to monitor if the groups will receive invitations to perform abroad, not necessarily an overnight process. “I am totally committed to the Jazz and World Music scene in Israel and to the musicians,” says Weiss. “I think the musicians deserve all the exhausting work I am doing for them. They are Israel’s real ambassadors”.
The International Expo for Jazz and World Music takes place November 16th – 19th at Levontin 7 in Tel Aviv and the Yellow Submarine in Jerusalem.