Hero rescue dogs returning from Turkey are being upgraded to first class in honour of their service.
Turkish Airlines said it does not want the dogs to travel in the cargo hold after all their hard work.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake on February 6 killed more than 45,000 people in Turkey and thousands more in neighbouring Syria and completely devastated hundreds of thousands of buildings.
A spokesperson for the Turkish Airlines told MailOnline: ‘As we have been experiencing an extraordinary period within our evacuation operations due to earthquakes centered in our eastern regions and affecting all our country and nation, we fly our heroes, the rescue teams along with their dogs, which are let to sit in cabin (in business class as well) for this period.
‘It was the least we could to do show our appreciation for these heroic dogs’ sincere and heroic efforts.’
Turkish Airlines said the gesture was to show ‘appreciation for these heroic dogs’ sincere and heroic efforts’
A spokesperson for the Turkish Airlines said: ‘As we have been experiencing an extraordinary period within our evacuation operations due to earthquakes centered in our eastern regions and affected all our country and nation, we fly our heroes, the rescue teams along with their dogs, which are let to sit in cabin (in business class as well) for this period’
Rescue dogs were sent to Turkey from a number of countries including the US, the UK, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Libya, Poland and Switzerland.
Turkish Airlines told Insider that it had also flown dogs from Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Hungary and China.
On February 7, a day after the 7.8 earthquake occurred, Mexico announced it was sending some of its famous search and rescue dogs to help look for people buried under rubble.
A plane with 16 dogs on board took off from Mexico City.
Mexico, which is prone to earthquakes, has highly specialised civilian and military teams which are often deployed to help when disasters strike.
The dogs saved several lives during the country’s 2017 earthquake.
Frida, a golden Labrador belonging to the Mexican Navy, became a national icon in Mexico after she was photographed wearing googles and boots.
Although Frida died last year, one of her comrades from the 2017 rescue attempts was among those helping out in Turkey, BBC News reported.
Dogs are often used in rescue attempts in areas where the use of heavy machinery could cause the rubble to collapse further, putting the lives of survivors at risk.
The dogs are trained to sniff out humans and alert their handlers by barking and scratching the ground where the scent is strongest.
Turkish Airlines also provided free flights for evacuees after the earthquake.
‘We evacuated a total of 296,819 citizens by 1,646 flights,’ Yahya Ustun, Turkish Airlines’ senior vice president for media relations, wrote on Twitter on February 21.
The airline has also provided free cargo transportation for urgent medical supplies to aid in the recovery and rebuilding of areas affected by the earthquakes.
The airline said it donated free carrying cases to airports so that other pets could be safely boarded onto aircraft for evacuation flights.
‘We also wish to extend our gratitude to our friends from abroad for their overwhelming support and aid in response to the crisis along with our missions, embassies, and consulates for their coordination in order to deliver aid material from other countries to the affected region with our cargo flights,’ Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bolat, the Chairman of Turkish Airlines in a statement.
‘Our flag carrier will continue to be with our citizens in the future just like it has been with all of its capabilities.’
According to the carrier’s website, the Turkish Airlines’ network spans 121 countries and 342 airports.
Turkish Airlines did not want the dogs to travel in the cargo hold after all their hard work
Rescue dogs were sent to Turkey from a number of countries including the US, the UK, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Libya, Poland, and Switzerland
Rescuers pulled a dog alive from a collapsed building in southern Turkey three weeks after last month’s 7.8-magnitude deadly earthquake, local media reported yesterday.
The teams from a local municipality in central Turkey saved Aleks the dog on Wednesday and delivered him to Haytap, a Turkish animal protection association in the city of Antakya.
A video from DHA news agency shows rescuers reaching between two large concrete slabs and calling to the trapped canine.
Images showed the rescuers embracing the dog, who appears to be alert and in good health, and offering him water.
Rescue workers have saved hundreds of trapped cats, dogs, rabbits and birds cherished by the locals in Antakya, one of the cities flattened by the disaster.
After the deadliest earthquake in its modern history, Turkey faces the daunting task of disposing of hundreds of millions of tonnes of rubble, some of it potentially harmful.
The February 6 earthquake and aftershocks left at least 156,000 buildings either completely collapsed or damaged to the point where they require demolition, Turkish authorities said, with whole areas of cities reduced to shattered concrete and steel.
The U.N. Development Program said the resulting 116- 210 million tonnes of rubble are equivalent to an area of 100 square km (40 square miles), if it were stacked to a height of 1 metre. That is roughly the size of Barcelona.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, facing an election likely to be held on May 14, has pledged to rebuild homes within a year, although experts warned safety should come before speed.
Emergency rescue members search for people in a destroyed building in Adana, Turkey on February 7, 2023
Dogs are pictured in the first class cabin of a Turkish Airlines flight
A rescue dog is pictured at the airport before it boards a Turkish Airlines flight
Turkey’s opposition alliance fractured on Friday after one of the leaders refused to endorse a joint candidate against Erdogan.
The cracks emerged a day after the six opposition party leaders held a meeting in Ankara to discuss whom to field against Erdogan in the May 14 polls.
Five parties endorsed Kemal Kilicdaroglu, a former civil servant who heads Turkey’s main secular party, as the frontrunner in the bid to end Erdogan’s rule.
But Meral Aksener, leader of the nationalist Iyi Party, has resisted Kilicdaroglu, backing instead Istanbul’s popular opposition mayor Ekrem Imamoglu or Ankara’s mayor Mansur Yavas.
‘I am sorry to say that as of yesterday, the Table of Six has lost its ability to reflect the will of the nation in its decisions,’ Aksener said after meeting her party delegates on Friday.
She said her party was being forced to choose Kilicdaroglu and added: ‘We will not bow to this.’
The opposition bloc was due to announce their joint candidate next Monday.