Earthquakes strengthen Taiwan, Turkey friendship


Date posted: September 24, 2012

Christie Chen Friday 21 September, 2012

Two major earthquakes that struck 13 years ago far apart from each other, have brought two distant countries – Taiwan and Turkey – together on the path of humanitarian aid. “I was certain that my house was going to collapse,” Turkey-based Taiwanese businessman Faisal Hu recalled the night of Aug. 17, 1999, when a 7.6 earthquake hit Turkey, claiming tens of thousands of lives.

Rescue teams from all over the world rushed to Turkey to help save those trapped under the rubbles. But Hu said a feeling of spite began to grow in his heart when days passed and there were no reports of Taiwanese aid coming.

The Muslim said he later learned that the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, one of Taiwan’s largest charity groups, had sent a disaster assessment team from Kosovo to Turkey to assist with disaster relief on the second day of the earthquake.

Tzu Chi had donated prefabricated houses and 200 tents to the earthquake victims in Turkey, said Ferhan Merter, a member of Turkish charity Kimse Yok Mu (Is Anybody there?). Merter had assisted Tzu Chi in their earthquake relief at that time.

He told Cihan News Agency in a recent telephone interview in Istanbul that the two charities had since enjoyed close ties, visiting and learning from each other.

Just close to one month after the earthquake in Turkey, Taiwan suffered one of its deadliest temblors on Sept. 21, which left more than 2,400 people dead.

The Taiwanese volunteers in Turkey faced a difficult decision – stay in Turkey or go back to Taiwan, but they eventually decided to stay, said Hu.

The news was covered by Turkish daily newspaper Zaman, which said the volunteers who stayed in Turkey despite their own disasters back home were carrying out “true humanitarian aid.”

Hu said he believes helping others is helping oneself. Because of the experience it gained from the disaster relief work in Turkey, Tzu Chi was able to make a speedy entry into the disaster zones in Taiwan after the Sept. 21 quake and set up prefabricated houses in a short time, said Hu.

A rescue team composed of members from the Turkey government and volunteer search and rescue association AKUT also flew to Taiwan after the quake to assist with search and rescue work, he added, calling it “a circulation of goodwill.”

“It doesn’t matter if you come to Turkey, we go there (Taiwan), it’s like paying back to the community of the world,”said Cilasun Bayulgen, director of technical training at AKUT. Bayulgen was in Taiwan as a rescuer after the Sept. 21 earthquake.

That bond continues. Years later, Merter said, Kimse Yok Mu donated US$50,000 to help the victims of a 2009 flooding in Taiwan caused by Typhoon Morakot.

Hu said 817 and 921 were two previously unrelated set of numbers, but they have now connected the people of Taiwan and Turkey.

“There is a lot of sweetness in the painful memories,” he said.

Source: Focus Taiwan


Related News

Turkish volunteers in US rush to help Oklahoma tornado victims

ORHAN AKKURT, NEW YORK Turkish charity organization Raindrop Helping Hands, a subsidiary of the US-based Raindrop Turkish House, has been helping Americans suffering in the aftermath of a powerful tornado that hit Oklahoma on Monday, leaving 24 dead. The Turkish charity first provided tornado victims with the most urgent needs such as food, water, gloves, […]

Turkey-Kurdistan Regional Government ties: How and why did they improve this much?

ABDULLA HAWEZ ABDULLA I remember how relations between the Turkish government and northern Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) used to be. Both sides were ambivalent about how to deal with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and had to wrangle over the matter. But these thoughts became obsolete after 2009 and transformed into marvelous relations. […]

Turkish businessmen’s helping hands reach out to Romanian flood victims

Turkish businessmen extended a helping hand to the flood victims in the eastern Romania. The locals received the philanthropists who went door to door to deliver the relief aid, in tears. The flood two weeks ago that hit the Galati region in the eastern Romania devastated residences of thousands. The farmers’ grain harvest for the […]

Prime Minister Erdoğan in his second home

Apolitical faith-based movements, represented by the Sufi lodges and the Hizmet movement today, regard Iranian expansionism as a real and imminent threat that needs to be tackled.

Turkish Biggest NGO [ Kimse Yok Mu] Chief Discloses Plans to Extend to Gambia

The general secretary of Turkey’s biggest international humanitarian non-governmental organisation – Kimse Yok Mu, (a Turkish parlance meaning in English “isn’t there anyone”) has disclosed plans to extend the charity’s operations to The Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone amongst other West African countries.

Discussing identity, multiculturalism and peace-building in Indonesia

Dr. Ihsan Yilmaz, JAKARTA Scholars and activists from all over the world and from all walks of life gathered in the lovely Indonesian resort city of Bogor to share their experiences on peace and peace-building activities. The 4th World Peace Forum (WPF) was organized in Bogor by the Indonesian Muhammadiyah movement, a loose social organization […]

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Turkey’s latest bombing will help its president amass more power

Governor’s office closes 3 Gülen-inspired prep schools in Çorum

FM Davutoglu praises Fethullah Gülen’s contribution to education

Turks living in Britain see it as their duty to integrate

Turks See Purge as Witch Hunt of ‘Medieval’ Darkness

Pak-Turk schools case: IHC grants more time to seek govt’s instructions

Fethullah Gülen and the role of nonviolence in a time of terror

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News