Tsai and Lai, who is widely expected to stand for the presidency in elections due next year, “hope to do their part to help Turkey rebuild its homeland as soon as possible”, the presidential office said in a statement.
In addition to the aid already provided by the island, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and Vice President William Lai will each donate one month’s salary to the relief operations following the earthquake in Turkey, the presidential office announced on Thursday.
As the aggregate reported death toll in Turkey and neighboring Syria surpassed 12,000 on Wednesday, Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged there were issues with his government’s first response to the earthquake.
Additionally, Tsai and Lai both donated one month’s pay in support of the humanitarian relief efforts for war-torn Ukraine last year. Around T$400,000 ($13,300) is Tsai’s monthly salary.
Taiwan, which frequently suffers earthquakes itself, has already announced $2 million in disaster relief and has sent two rescue teams to Turkey to help in search efforts for survivors.
Tsai spoke by video call to some of Taiwan’s team on the ground on Wednesday.
“I would like to thank all the members for not being afraid of difficulties and going all out so that Taiwan and Turkey can help each other,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
Following a devastating earthquake that left more than 2,000 people dead in Taiwan in 1999, Turkey joined global efforts and dispatched rescuers there.
Turkey, like the majority of nations, does not have formal diplomatic relationships with Chinese-occupied Taiwan, but there are direct flights from Istanbul to Taipei and the two nations do maintain de facto embassies in each other’s capitals.