France sending aid flight to Turkey

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France will send a plane carrying humanitarian aid including tents to Turkey on Thursday to assist victims of the country's devastating earthquake, the French foreign ministry said.

"Faced with the scale of the catastrophe... we are preparing to send a humanitarian assistance plane carrying a significant consignment of large family tents intended for people left homeless," ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said in a statement Wednesday.

The plane will fly from Paris to the eastern city of Erzurum, from where Turkish authorities are coordinating quake relief efforts.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday acknowledged failures in the relief effort after Sunday's 7.2-magnitude earthquake, which killed 461 people according to an official death toll that is expected to rise.

After previously refusing to accept offers of help from abroad, Ankara said it was changing its mind because of the urgent need for housing materials for those left homeless.

© 2011 AFP

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