At a ceremony on Capitol Hill on May 15, the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) announced its donation of two fully equipped ambulances to the Mexican Red Cross to be used in the southeastern Mexican state of Tabasco. The announcement was made with Representatives Ortiz and Reyes, who were instrumental in facilitating this gift, along with representatives of the Mexican Red Cross, the Turkish Embassy and the Mexican Embassy.
Mexico was hit with one of its worst national disasters in November 2007 when the state of Tabasco was hit by a Hurricane, causing massive flooding and the destruction of tens of thousands of homes, schools, as well as the state's crops. The flooding left over a million people homeless with an estimated one-third of them children. The Ambulances are donated to the Mexican Red Cross as a gesture of friendship, in the hopes of a more speedy recovery in future cases of need.
"Turkey lived through a major national disaster in the August 1999 earthquakes. Turkish Americans know firsthand how crucially important international assistance was in saving lives and rebuilding the earthquake struck regions in Turkey. Nations across the globe, the United States and the American people in particular, showed great support and sympathy to Turkey during its dire days," said TCA President G Lincoln McCurdy. "Mexico and the people of Mexico also contributed life saving aid and rescue resources that helped alleviate the suffering of those impacted by this earthquake. This gift from Turkish Americans to the people of Tabasco, Mexico is our way of showing solidarity to victims of natural disasters that affect us all," continued McCurdy.
TCA dedicated the two ambulances to Congressman Solomon Ortiz (D-27th/TX) and Congressman Silvestre Reyes (D-16th/TX) to recognize the efforts by the two members of Congress, who are deans of the Hispanic Caucus and members of the Turkish Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, to bring together the people of Mexico, Turkey and the United States.
"When natural disasters strike, rescue operations need strong support from the international community, regardless of nationality or religion," said Representative Ortiz. "These ambulances are a symbol of friendship and cooperation, and I thank the Turkish Coalition of America for this goodwill gesture between Turkey, Mexico and the United States," continued Ortiz.
"I applaud the Turkish Coalition of American for providing the Mexican Red Cross with these ambulances. These vehicles will provide much needed emergency care to those communities in Tabasco that continue to suffer as result of last year's devastating floods," commented Congressman Silvestre Reyes.
"During Mr. Lincoln McCurdy's visit to our National Society and knowing about our needs, we established the commitment to arrange for the donation of two ambulances, which will be serving the society in the state of Tabasco," said Daniel Goni Diaz, President of the Mexican Red Cross. "Thank you for this donation that will alleviate the increasing needs of the population in this area.
Also in attendance were the Ambassador of Mexico, His Excellency Arturo Sarukhan and Dr.Burak Akcapar, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Turkish Embassy.