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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Turkish Red Crescent slammed for selling tents to earthquake survivors – Reuters

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The organization sold 2,050 survivors’ tents to Ahbap, a charity NGO, for 46 million Turkish liras ($2.4 million), according to the daily Cumhuriyet, which revealed details of the deal. These tents have been moved and installed in the regions affected by the earthquake, the NGO said on Twitter on Sunday. Turkish Red Crescent President Kerem Kinik said Kizilay Cadir, his organization’s tent-making subsidiary, provided tents to Ahbap “at cost”.

However, his remarks did not stop the avalanche of criticism in the Turkish media and social networks. “Turkey’s biggest charity, the Red Crescent, was selling tents instead of giving them away for free to those in need because people were begging for them three days after the earthquake. It’s a scandal,” Murat Agirel, journalist and author of Cumhuriyet’s survey, said. The Turkish government has been accused of not distributing enough tents, humanitarian aid and rescue teams to several communities in the days following the quake. Non-governmental organizations, including the charity Ahbap and volunteers, have helped fill these gaps, according to Le Figaro.

As an association, the Turkish Red Crescent works closely with the Turkish authorities and benefits from numerous official fundraising campaigns. Several opposition figures have called for the resignation of the organisation’s president. “Shame on you!” Wrote Meral Aksener, president of the nationalist Iyi party, on social media. Recently, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused critics of the Red Crescent of “dishonesty and wickedness”, which drew criticism from the leader of the main opposition party, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

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