Turkey’s diplomatic efforts to produce a ceasefire in Libya remain stalemated, but a high-profile humanitarian mission sponsored by Ankara ended successfully April 5 when a ferry with hundreds of wounded Libyan fighters docked at a small port on the Turkish Aegean Sea coast.
The ferry, which set off from Libya on the evening of April 3, arrived at the port of Cesme, a vacation resort not far from the coastal city of Izmir. Aboard the vessel were over 300 Libyans who had suffered serious wounds amid fighting in the Western Libyan cities of Misrata and Benghazi. Another hundred or so Libyan evacuees, dozens of Turkish nationals and 29 foreigners, including Ukrainian, British, German and Uzbek citizens, also disembarked.
The wounded were brought to a triage center, where their injuries were assessed and where they underwent expedited immigration procedures. About 60 ambulances stood by to carry the wounded to area hospitals. Many had already had limbs amputated, or were heavily bandaged after suffering extensive burns. Several wounded men were flown by helicopter to hospitals to receive emergency treatment.
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Monique Jaques is a freelance photojournalist working in Turkey and Afghanistan.