ISTANBUL - Realising the role of Pakistanis who helped Turks during the devastating Marmara earthquake in 1999, President of Turkey Abdullah Gul has called upon the Turkish people to help the disaster-hit country by donating generously. It is now Turkeys turn to help flood-ravaged Pakistan, Gul told reporters urging the nation to come forward to help their Pakistani brothers and sisters in their difficult time. I am calling on all our people to actively participate in these ongoing aid campaigns. I am sure that the Turkish people will do it. Not only because we are friends and brothers with Pakistan, but also for humanitarian reasons, Gnl told reporters in Istanbul. Gul especially mentioned the role of the people of the country (Pakistan) who helped Turks during the War of Independence in the 1920s and the devastating Marmara earthquake in 1999. Gul underlined that it was a national obligation for the Turks to stand by their brothers in Pakistan as sons and daughters of the two nations who had always been supportive of each other and who have enjoyed unmatched pattern of togetherness despite the immense geographical distance between their two countries. While interacting with the media men, the Turkish President welcomed the aid campaigns launched by the media, civilian organisations and trade chambers, and said the Turkish armed forces, the office of the Prime Minister and other state institutions would join the Red Crescent in sending humanitarian aid to Pakistan. Later, in a symbolic move, Gnl donated money to a charity that was collecting donations from people outside Sultan Ahmed Mosque (also known as Blue Mosque) situated in heart of Istanbul. Following appeal of President Gul, Prime Minister of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan in his message to the Turkish nation has urged them to come forward to help Pakistani brothers and sisters. Today is the day to extend a fast, strong and determined hand to help Pakistan, and as Turks realise more the magnitude of the disaster, obviously the Turkish aid to Pakistan will increase. He further said, We, unfortunately, were a little bit late, however, I am sure the Pakistani people will forgive us, but it took some time to grasp the immense dimension of the catastrophe Pakistanis were subjected to and get mobilized. As the flood continues teasing Pakistanis forcing millions of them to flee homes and putting more than 70,000 children at the risk of blatant disease of gastro, efforts are underway at Turkish state institutions and nongovernmental organisations to help the people of Pakistan. Bank accounts for donations have been opened within the scope of the aid campaigns while special donation desks have also been set up across the big cities to receive donations. The Turkish Red Crescent is busy in collecting monetary contributions and sending them to the region to meet the needs of flood victims. Along with other institutions of Turkey, widely read newspaper of the country Dilly Hurriat has donated 100,000 Turkish Liras to the effort through the campaign it launched for Pakistan. Vuslat Dogan Sabanci, publisher of Daily Hnrriyet, donated 25,000 liras while Ferit Sahenk, the CEO of Dogus Holding, gave 100,000 liras. According to authorities in Istanbul, the Red Crescent has finalised preparations to send an additional 105 tons of aid material to Pakistan in line with the needs there, including prefabricated houses to provide temporary shelter that will be sent by train. It is important to mention here that the Turkish organisation has already sent 140 tons of aid material, including foodstuffs and cleaning equipment, potable water, blankets, medicine and tents. When contacted by this correspondent , Mayer of Ankara Melih Gktek said on telephone that his municipality would join the effort to send aid to Pakistan. Later in the evening, a press note issued by the media cell of his municipality stated that it planned to send 75 tons of food and cleaning supplies, along with four mobile bread bakeries. Interacting with this correspondent at public places, a large number of common people of Turkey opined that Turkey and Pakistan were two nations that were not just friendly at all. Relations between the Turkish and the Pakistani nations, despite the huge geographical distance between them, have always been a brotherly one. During the visit to the city, this correspondent observed that helping a brother in need, is part of the culture of the Turkish nation and when it comes to help a brother, as we experienced in the last killer quake in Pakistan (October 2005), schoolchildren might step forward stretching their hands with precious donations they saved from their pocket money, or young brides might come forward to donate their wedding rings. In an attempt to make the people donate for Pak flood affectees, authorities here in Istanbul have got published a letter in most of the publications stating that Pakistan is in need today and helping out a brother to come out of a disastrous natural disaster killing in thousands and rendering homeless in millions must be, and it is, a national duty for every member of the Turkish nation. The letter aims at urging the Turks to donate to help their brothers. According the letter, so far, the amount of Turkish aid to Pakistan has reportedly exceeded $13 million and is increasing. Besides, within days Turkey will establish two field hospitals - each manned by a 20-member medical team composed of doctors and health personnel - and the Turkish Red Crescent is in efforts to send more of those easily constructed pre-fabricated Mevlana homes that it has in its depots as part of preparedness for possible natural disasters in this quake-stricken nation. Meanwhile, authorities in Istanbul told media persons that the preparations were almost completed to send a Pakistan-bound train of brotherhood. The Turkish Sate Railways, TCDD, in cooperation with the Turkish Red Crescent will be supplying Pakistan with some 500 tons of supplies. Besides, not only the government and the Red Crescent, but municipalities, non-governmental organizations, newspapers have also launched campaigns to help out the brothers in need in Pakistan. Major national newspapers here in Turkey, have already launched massive aid campaigns for the flood victims of Pakistan, described by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the worst disaster he ever saw.