Following yesterday’s attempted military coup in Turkey that led to dozens of fatalities, the government is offering necessary assistance to ensure the safety of Taiwanese nationals living or traveling in that country, Executive Yuan Spokesperson Tung Chen-yuan said today.
On receiving word of the political turmoil in Turkey, Premier Lin Chuan immediately ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and the Overseas Community Affairs Council to find out if any Taiwanese nationals had been affected, Tung said. The agencies reported back that all Taiwanese in Turkey were safe, and Premier Lin instructed the agencies to provide them with appropriate assistance as soon as possible.
According to the MOFA, Taiwan’s representative office in Turkey has issued safety advisories to Taiwanese nationals living in the Eurasian country, and it requested EVA Airways to be mindful of the safety of flights and of Taiwanese passengers in Turkey. For emergencies, Taiwanese nationals can contact the representative office by calling 002-90-532-322-7162 from Taiwan or 0532-322-7162 if they are in Turkey.
Taiwan’s representative office in Turkey will closely monitor the situation, the MOFA indicated, adding that preliminary reports show no Taiwanese casualties so far. In addition to issuing a red travel alert for Turkey, the foreign ministry also informed the MOTC’s Tourism Bureau on the status of Taiwanese tour groups there.
The Tourism Bureau, meanwhile, has provided Taiwan’s travel agencies with the emergency phone numbers of Taiwan’s representative office in Turkey. The travel agencies were requested to monitor the safety of their tour members, stay on top of local developments, and help Taiwanese tourists return as soon as possible. Tour leaders should also keep in touch with the representative office to ensure timely assistance if needed.
The MOE has confirmed the safety of a 60-member team from the Chinese Taipei School Sport Federation currently taking part in Gymnasiade 2016 in Trabzon, several hundred kilometers from Turkey’s capital of Ankara. Taiwan’s representative office in Turkey has made contact with the team and will provide repatriation assistance if necessary.
The MOEA said Taiwanese businesspeople in Turkey are mostly located in Istanbul with dealings in trade, computers, electronic products, optical instrument manufacturing, automobile components and metallic products. The MOEA has requested its office in Turkey to advise the Taiwanese business community to stay safe and be aware of subsequent developments.