A Turkish company has won the contract to launch ambulances in the US, marking a major step towards the country becoming a full member of the United States’ national ambulance system.
Ambulance companies are allowed to operate in the country without a licence from the federal government but the company that has won this contract has a licence to operate and is licensed to operate by the US government.
The company is Blue Sensor Turkey, which has a registered address in Turkey.
The firm was founded in 2014.
Turkey has been in talks with the US since at least 2015, but the negotiations were not completed until this month.
It is hoped the agreement will enable Turkey to begin providing ambulance services in the USA, which currently only allows foreign companies to operate under a US licence.
Blue Sensor will not be allowed to expand its service beyond the US.
“We will have a complete set of requirements, we will have to comply with all the requirements of the US national health and safety system, the national fire department and other national authorities, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” Blue Sensor CEO Yildiz Sayid told the BBC.
The Turkish government has been fighting a series of protests over the past year, with protesters staging a mass demonstration in Istanbul in January, which saw hundreds arrested.
“The Turkish government is trying to impose its will over the country.
They have been imposing its will on the people,” said Turkish civil rights activist Duygu Koc, who was detained and charged with plotting to topple the government.
Turkey is one of the world’s most important markets for US ambulance services, with more than a billion people expected to travel to the country in 2019.
A number of other US ambulance companies are also based in Turkey, including Medtronic, which runs the US ambulance service Blue Cross Blue Shield.