Focus Taiwan: Turkish rescue group thanks Taiwan for support after earthquake

Ankara, Feb. 4 (CNA) The AKUT Search and Rescue Association of Turkey recently thanked the Taiwanese people for their generous donations in the wake of a magnitude 6.8 earthquake that struck Turkey on Jan. 24.

The earthquake, centered near the town of Sivrice in the eastern province of Elazig, killed 41 people and injured more than 1,600.

After the quake hit on Jan. 24, Taiwanese flooded the AKUT with supportive messages and donations, the organization said.

“Of the 7,133 people who donated to the organization via credit card (after the earthquake), more than 60 percent were Taiwanese,” AKUT Secretary-General Zeynep Aktosun said in a meeting Monday.

Furthermore, a Taiwanese netizen voluntarily translated the donation information into Chinese, which resulted in an “explosion” of donations, she said.

Many of the Taiwanese donors said they wanted to show their gratitude for the AKUT’s assistance in the aftermath of the deadly 921 earthquake in Taiwan, according to the organization.

The 921 earthquake, which claimed 2,415 lives and left tens of thousands of people injured when it struck central Taiwan in 1999, is considered one of the deadliest in the country’s history.

The day after the 921 quake, the AKUT dispatched 17 rescue workers to Taiwan, and saved the life of a Taiwanese woman who had been trapped under the rubble of her collapsed apartment building.

Twenty years later, the Taiwanese people still remember the work of the AKUT

When a Turkish netizen asked in the comments section why Taiwan had been singled out, the AKUT cited the large number of donations and supportive messages received from Taiwanese.

“The donations are important, of course, but the messages are our greatest motivation,” Aktosun told CNA. “Our volunteers have been moved to tears by them.”

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