President defends Turkish Red Crescent, says "We do not sell donations"

President defends Turkish Red Crescent, says "We do not sell donations"
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Kerem Kinik has defended Turkish Red Crescent's sale of tents to a NGO saying tents were sold not by the institution itself but a company it owned, and that they refrain from selling citizens' donations.

After being subjected to heavy criticism for selling tents instead of delivering them as aid to earthquake survivors in the immediate wake of the earthquakes on 6 February, Turkish Red Crescent's (Kizilay) president said in defense that they do not sell donations received from citizens, and that the tents in question were sold by a company owned by Turkish Red Crescent.

Kerem Kinik said:

"The Turkish Red Crescent delivers the DONATIONS [capital letters by Kinik] it receives directly to people in need, free of charge. It definitely DOES NOT SELL them. The reports on media involve activities of companies whose mission is to provide, through their competencies in fields of humanitarian aid and disaster response, a sustained income for Red Crescent."

He added:

"The commercial relation with Ahbap Association has been developed not by Red Crescent itself, but by the logistics company owned by Red Crescent."

It is underlined in a recent report in +Gercek that Turkish Red Crescent in recent years has turned into a giant commercial entity with eleven companies operating under its ownership, including investment company Kizilay Asset Management.

The companies are Kizilay Beverage, Kizilay Impact Investment, Kizilay Biomedical, Kizilay Technology, Kizilay Asset Management, Kizilay Healthcare, Kizilay Tent & Textile, Kizilay Culture & Arts, Kizilay System Building, Kizilay Elderly Care, Kizilay Logistics.

Turkish Red Crescent has also been subjected to criticism over its unmonitored relationship with foundations, particularly Ensar Foundation that has been implicated in cases of sexual abuse of children.

The institution's officials had admitted in January 2020 that they provided $8 million to Ensar, allegedly to support its construction of student dormitories.