To show full support for the Turkish government's disaster relief and resettlement efforts after a recent devastating earthquake, Premier Chen Chien-jen on Tuesday attended a flag handover ceremony at Taoyuan International Airport to send off Taiwan's second search and rescue team, dispatched to assist international humanitarian aid operations in Turkey. The premier noted that the Taiwanese government had previously dispatched a first search and rescue team comprising 40 members on Monday. The second team departing Tuesday was comprised of 90 members and employed a government-chartered flight for the first time ever to ensure a swift arrival to begin rescue operations as efficiently as possible.
Premier Chen stated that as a member of the international community, Taiwan is willing to provide assistance to any country in the world, and this spirit of camaraderie and kinship demonstrates the government motto: "Taiwan can help, and Taiwan is helping." Furthermore, as a nation which frequently experiences earthquakes, Taiwan can particularly empathize with Turkey's current plight. When Taiwan was devastated by the Jiji Earthquake on September 21, 1999, Turkey rapidly dispatched a search and rescue team to assist Taiwan. Now Taiwan is presented with a crucial opportunity to repay its debt of gratitude to Turkey, the premier said. The government is increasing its donation to Turkey to US$2 million and will do everything in its power to assist the Turkish government with disaster relief and the resettlement of victims.