Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of the Republic of Türkiye has decorated HUNOR, the Hungarian National Organization for Rescue Services with a high state award which was handed over to Dr. Péter Jackovics, a colonel in the fire corps, the Commander of HUNOR in Ankara on April 25.
On April 25 a great ceremony was held in the National Convention Center in Ankara to which the commanders of the organizations that had been taking part in the search and rescue operations after the earthquake in Türkiye were invited. In February more than 200 Turkish and more than 110 foreign search and rescue organizations were working in the regions that had been directly hit by an earthquake. All these organizations were represented in the above event. It was Colonel Dr. Péter Jackovics, the Commander of HUNOR and László Lehoczki, a volunteer search and rescue worker – together with his rescue dog Hope – that travelled to Ankara where they were joined by Hungary’s Ambassador to Türkiye, His Excellency Viktor Mátis.
The document handed over by President Erdoğan says that the Republic of Türkiye expresses the gratitude of the Turkish people for the self-sacrificing and dedicated efforts during the search and rescue operations by the state award, the Decoration of Gratitude. The epicenter of the earthquake, striking directly eleven regions of Türkiye on February 23, 2023, was in Kahramanmaras. The death toll was about 50.000 and tremendous damage was done.
During the ceremony it was Péter Jackovics who expressed his thanks on behalf of all the above rescue organizations. The Colonel pointed out that the members of the Hungarian rescue team were performing their duties far away from their families and among difficult conditions, and were doing exactly what they had been sworn to do. Colonel Jackovics underlined that the key to the success of the Hungarian team was – besides their being well-prepared – was the support and the compliance of the Turkish side. He finished his remarks in Turkish which was followed by a loud ovation.
Immediately after the huge earthquake in Türkiye last February, HUNOR, the official rescue team of Hungary, offered its support to rescue the survivors from under the rubble. The professional rescue team, consisting of firemen, was ordered to fly to Antakya. During their six-day stay in the region they managed to rescue 17 survivors, among them three children. They have also recovered 29 dead bodies.