Turkey’s president on Friday congratulated the country’s premier humanitarian aid group, the Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay), on its 153rd anniversary.

In a message to the group’s head, Kerem Kinik, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Turkish Red Crescent symbolizes the Turkish nation’s compassion, altruism, and solidarity, Turkey’s Communications Directorate said in a statement.

Turkey is proud of the wide-ranging services of the Turkish Red Crescent, which include responding to disasters, blood donation campaigns, international aid, social work, work for migration and refugees, and first aid, he said.

Erdogan added that the Turkish Red Crescent’s services, which help people in times of dire need, set an example for the world.

The Turkish Red Crescent is the country’s largest humanitarian organization, with an international network that provides relief to other nations in need.

It provides unconditional aid and non-profit, volunteer-based social services and is a corporate body governed by special legal provisions.

*Writing by Ahmet Gencturk

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