Turkey's leading charity, the Turkish Red Crescent stepped up to the plate for humanitarian assistance across the world. Red Crescent President Kerem Kınık gave a summary of their 2019 activities and explained their plans for 2020 at a press conference in Istanbul on Wednesday. Kınık also unveiled a new "geodesic" tent they produced, a lighter but more durable version of the standard tent the charity manufactures.
The charity, founded 150 years ago, has been at the forefront of humanitarian aid in Turkey and the world since then and delivered aid to 22.3 million people in 2019. In 2020, it aims to reach 25 million people. It will also launch a campaign titled, "Society-Based Disaster Management and Training Mobilization." The Red Crescent is looking to collect at least TL 1.2 billion from its donors in 2020.
Kınık, who was appointed as Red Crescent president in 2016, said they empowered their "army of humanitarian aid." "We have 158 branches, nine regional disaster operations centers, 174 office of representations, 20 local disaster operation centers, tens of thousands of members, 18 regional centers for blood donations, 120,000 volunteers, 68 blood donation centers, 152 university communities, 16 social centers and a staff of 10,257 people. We have soup kitchens, nursing homes, dormitories, hospitals and shops to give away clothes for free for the needy and countless other services. In 2018, we reached out to 21.2 million people thanks to donations and this rose to 22.3 million this year. We target to increase it to 25 million in 2020," he said.
"It is made of recyclable textiles and it is lighter compared to other tents.
Our other tents weight about 85 kilos but this one weighs only 48 kilos. It is resistant to severe winter conditions as well as tropical rains," Kınık said, adding that it also costs less to produce.
Kınık said they will be primarily delivered to tropical regions. He added that they also participated in a tender for tent production for the International Organization for Migration. The charity so far delivered 104,000 tents capable of accommodating 700,000 people to war-torn Syria.