The Turkish Red Crescent has been criticized for not donating tents for earthquake victims to another aid organization, selling them instead. As the newspaper “Cumhuriyet” reported on Sunday, the Red Crescent sold 2050 tents to the aid organization Ahbap for the equivalent of nearly 2.3 million euros. This is a “scandal,” wrote the journalist Murat Agrirel.
“Turkey’s largest charity, the Red Crescent, sold tents instead of giving them for free to people in need when people begged for them three days after the earthquake,” Agirel said. Turkish Red Crescent leader Kerem Kinik confirmed on Twitter that Kizilay Cadir, a subsidiary of his organization responsible for making the tents, had provided them to Ahbap “at cost”.
Several opposition politicians called for Kinik’s resignation. “Shame on you,” the leader of the nationalist Iyi Party, Meral Aksener, wrote on Twitter.
Criticism of government for lack of tents and aid
The Turkish government was accused of not distributing enough tents and humanitarian aid in several places after the earthquake. Not enough rescue teams were deployed either.
Erdogan defends the Red Crescent
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called those who have criticized the Red Crescent “unfair and despicable”. The leader of the main opposition party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, then tweeted that Erdogan “insulted the earthquake victims”.
According to official figures, more than 46,000 people died in the massive earthquake in the early morning hours of February 6 in Syria and Turkey.
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