DS: Beyond this summit, what else can Turkey do in terms of relieving humanitarian crises around the world?
Oktay: As German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently said, Turkey does not just lecture on humanitarian aid. It has been practicing more than it says it does in many different fields. With its human-centered diplomacy and with a culture emphasizing that one cannot be relieved until we all help others in need, Turkey is lending a hand to everyone in need around the world while opening its doors to more than 3 million refugees and sharing what it has with them.
Lending a hand to hundreds of thousands of people aggrieved by humanitarian crises and natural disasters in Gaza, Bosnia, Somalia, Haiti and Myanmar through AFAD, Turkey is today in a position to give aid, not receive it.
Having sent the first humanitarian aid package to the Philippines after the typhoon disaster in 2013, AFAD has provided humanitarian aid to 51 countries on five continents over the last five years. It has also participated in search and rescue operations.
In Somalia, the aid provided by Turkey through AFAD outdid the conventional humanitarian aid notion common in Africa so far. On the Horn of Africa Turkey has displayed a new and successful humanitarian aid model that introduced working in the field, forming good relations and appealing to people's hearts.
In all countries we head to, we are motivated by this humane approach. Turkey acts with humane sensitivities while delivering humanitarian aid. Thanks to that, we form bridges of friendship with the people we help.