Last week, Tayyip Erdogan accused critics of the Red Crescent as “dishonest and vile”
Popular outcry has been caused in neighboring Turkey by the revelation that the Turkish humanitarian organization Red Crescent sold instead of donating tents to the people who lost everything in the February 6 earthquake in Kahramanmaras and Antioch, with more than 40 thousand dead.
According to the Cumhuriyet newspaper which broke the story, the Turkish Red Crescent sold 2,050 tents – intended for survivors – to the charity NGO Ahbap for 46 million Turkish lira ($2.4 million).
These tents were transported and set up in the earthquake-affected areas, the NGO said on twitter today.
Turkish Red Crescent president Kerem Kinik confirmed on Twitter that Kizilay Cadir, a subsidiary of his organization responsible for producing the scenes, provided Ahbap with accommodation “at cost price”. “The cooperation of the Red Crescent with Ahbap is moral, logical and ethical,” said Kinik.
But his statements did not stop the outcry in the media and on social media.
Fire from the opposition and Turkish media
“Turkey’s biggest charity, the Red Crescent, sold tents instead of giving them away for free to those in need as people begged for them, three days after the earthquake. This is a scandal,” wrote Murat Aguirel, a Cumhuriyet journalist.
The Turkish government has been accused of not distributing a sufficient number of tents, humanitarian aid and not deploying sufficient aid teams in many locations in the days after the earthquake.
Non-governmental organizations, including the Ahbap charity, and volunteers helped fill the gaps.
The Turkish Red Crescent, having union status, works closely with the Turkish authorities and benefits from numerous official donation campaigns.
Leaders of the opposition demanded the resignation of the president of the Red Crescent. “Shame on you!” Meral Aksener, the president of the nationalist Good Party (Iyi), wrote on Twitter.
Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused critics of the Red Crescent as “dishonest and vile”.
He was criticized by the leader of the main opposition party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who tweeted: “Erdogan, you insulted the earthquake victims for the Turkish Red Crescent. But yeah, what would you say?’
With a wealth of experience honed over 4+ years in journalism, I bring a seasoned voice to the world of news. Currently, I work as a freelance writer and editor, always seeking new opportunities to tell compelling stories in the field of world news.