Turkish Red Crescent criticized for selling tents to charity instead of giving them to earthquakes


As people begged the government for shelter to sleep in during the frigid weather in the immediate aftermath of the quake, the Turkish Red Crescent sold 2,050 tents to the charity AHBAP for 46 million Turkish liras (about $2.4 million dollars). said.

AHBAP, a well-known charity in the country, said it was desperate for tents and could not find any to deliver to those in need, so it decided to buy from the Red Crescent, known as Kizilay in Turkey .

“Our friends met with Kızılay Çadır ve Tekstil A.Ş, a subsidiary of Kızılay. We immediately signed the contract for the tents, which we learned that we owned 2,050 tents, and the next morning, we sent 2,050 tents to the earthquake zone,” AHBAP wrote in a tweet.

“As the earthquake affected 10 provinces and the destruction was at an extraordinary level, the existing stocks of all the tent manufacturers in our country could not meet the grievances of our citizens. The companies we contacted at the time had no tents that we could send to the earthquake zone that morning. They could make them within a week at the earliest,” AHBAP added.

President of The Red Crescent Kerem Kınık told CNN’s sister network CNN Turk on Monday that he was unaware of the sale, adding that it was his staff’s decision to sell the tents. He said if he had known about the situation he would have suggested giving them away.

However, a day earlier on Sunday, Kınık wrote in a tweet: “The cooperation between @Ahbap and @Red Crescent is moral, rational and legal. Anyone who claims otherwise either does not understand the matter or is malicious.”

Haluk Levent, a singer who founded AHBAP, wrote in a tweet on Monday that his charity not only bought tents, but also “bought 30 thousand units of food from Kızılay Lojistik A.Ş., each of which would provide 3 meals for a family of 4 and does not expire for a year.”

“In total, we bought 108 million Turkish liras worth of food from five different suppliers. 14 million of these (about $742,000) we bought from Kızılay Lojistik A.Ş,” Levent also wrote.

Kınık also wrote on his Twitter account on Monday: “DISCLOSURE. The Red Crescent gives the donations it receives to people in need, it certainly does NOT sell it. The topic in the press is the activities of our companies specialized in the field of humanitarian aid, generating sustainable income for the Red Crescent.”

The revelations have sparked criticism in Turkey. Ahmet Davutoglu, former Prime Minister under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party, criticized the Red Crescent on Twitter, writing: “The Red Crescent cannot sell tents while people are desperately waiting on the streets for tents. Those tents should have been are delivered to the people of the region for free. It’s called ignorance, losing your mind. Our country and our noble nation don’t deserve this.”

Turkey arrests nearly 200 people for allegedly bad construction after earthquake

Meral Akşener, the leader of the Turkish opposition party IYI, added: “The Turkish Red Crescent was founded with the understanding of ‘to protect the dignity of people and society with the power of goodness, to enhance and strengthen their resilience. work to relieve their suffering.” ; With the power of money you have condemned people to an understanding that leaves them alone and empty. Shame on you!”

In the aftermath of the earthquake, many people, including civilians, journalists and opposition party members, not only accused the Turkish government of not providing tents and food to earthquake zones, but also criticized it for not having enough teams for operations to tackle the rescue survivors.

At a press conference on Monday, President Erdogan asked for a pardon for delays in aid and rescue. “Due to the weather and road conditions, we couldn’t do the work we wanted to in Adıyaman in the first few days, I apologize to you for this. We are aware of everything, no one should doubt that we will do what is necessary,” he said.

Last week, the Turkish government also announced that it will begin rebuilding in earthquake zones, despite criticism from engineers and architects. Turkey’s Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Minister Murat Kurum has announced that excavation has begun for 885 houses in the earthquake zone.

However, the Turkish Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) warned of future problems that could arise from the rushed construction of houses.

Emin Koramaz, chairman of the TMMOB board, wrote in his column for BirGün, an independent newspaper, that “any project that will be carried out without conducting new geological surveys, updating the soil surveys and preparing the city plans in accordance with the earthquake after the earthquake means carrying the current earthquake risk into the future and endangering people’s lives.”

Some social media users also criticized the construction efforts, arguing that continued aftershocks in the region would damage the foundations of the new buildings.

President Erdogan, who faces general elections in the coming months, has promised new homes for the people affected by the quake, saying they will be ready within a year.

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