The Turkish Red Crescent received the International Quality Award yesterday in Geneva for its high standards in charity work. The charity's president, Kerem Kınık, received the award from Jose Prieto, head of the Business Initiative Directions institution that grants the award. Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) about the award, Kınık said the award was recognition of Red Crescent's activities and its management model. "We have a clear vision and that is ending human suffering and setting an example in this endeavor. We have a clear work definition and a strategy about it. The Red Crescent marks its 151st year and represents a deep-rooted tradition and strength. Last year alone, we reached out to 24 million people with humanitarian aid and 7 million among them were abroad," he said.
The charity stepped up international activities in recent years, shedding its image of focusing mostly on humanitarian aid within Turkey. Today, its teams are present in countries hit by conflict, poverty and disasters across the globe, from Yemen to Syria. It spent some TL 3.1 billion for humanitarian work last year and plans to to increase it to about TL 4.5 billion in 2019, reaching some 33 million people. The charity also explored new channels for donations and switched to a digital system.
The Turkish Red Crescent was originally founded in 1868 as the Society for Aiding Wounded and Ailing Ottoman Soldiers before taking its current name in 1947. Its primary goal was to help soldiers wounded on the fronts, but over time, it evolved into a charity responding to natural and man-made disasters around the world. Today, it is the largest humanitarian organization in Turkey, with an international network to help other nations in need.