ANKARA 

The Turkish Red Crescent has been providing help for the international community without having any discrimination based on language, religion, or race, and rushing to the help of people victimized by natural disasters, conflicts, and poverty.

Established in 1868 as the Society for Aiding the Wounded and Ailing Ottoman Soldiers, the charity organization marks the 152nd anniversary on Thursday and is today viewed as an example for its aid operations both at home and abroad.

Whether it be in the Middle East, the Balkans, Africa, Caucasus or Asia, the Turkish organization hears the silent screams of the needy and offers its best to relieve them of their grievance; in fact, Turkish Red Crescent is now an international actor in regards to aid operations as it has responded to 138 countries in the past decade.

Some of the countries the charity has recently offered assistance include Yemen, the Balkans, Sudan, Syria, Niger, Pakistan, Iran, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, and Georgia.

Defining its mission as an endeavor to be a “proactive institution” to provide help for the needy in times of extraordinary situations, developing conscience for social cooperation among people, the charity aims to emerge as a role model across the world.

In collaboration with Turkey’s migration body, the charity plays a significant role in the migration policy of the country as it provides aid assistance and social cohesion programs for people living under temporary protection in Turkey, who also receive psychosocial support through the aid agency.

Most notably, the Turkish Red Crescent also produces tents to be used at times of disasters, enabling the charity to rely on its own sources while lending a helping hand to needy people, especially those forcibly displaced at conflict-stricken areas, including northern Syria.

With disaster management and logistic systems established all around the country, the Turkish Red Crescent, also known as Kizilay, is one of the first bodies to step into action at times of natural disasters such as flooding and earthquake.

The charity has nine regional and 23 logistic centers scattered in Turkey and it also establishes tents and offers food via mobile kitchens.

On top of the international activities, the Turkish Red Crescent is of course rushing to the help of needy Turkish citizens through donations collected by benefactors and many of its local centers while charity’s nursing houses, dormitories and orphanages embrace the needy people from all parts of the country.

For most Turks, the word “Kizilay” is associated with blood donations as the aid agency conducts a national blood campaign; blood collected via donation centers and mobile vehicles is later transferred to hospitals.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus worldwide added another task to missions of the organization as it now collects immune plasmas in an effort to ensure the recovery of patients.

Working closely with the Health Ministry, the Turkish Red Crescent collected some 3,970 immune plasmas from people who successfully recovered from the disease. They have been later used for patients receiving treatment for COVID-19.

The virus has so far claimed 4,746 lives in Turkey after infecting 173,036 people. Some 146,839 people have recovered from COVID-19, disease caused by the new coronavirus. Health authorities are hailing immune plasma as an efficient treatment for the disease that still has no vaccination.

The charity is a national organization that relies on donations only and does not get any share in the state budget.

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