Turkish Red Crescent sells blood to public hospitals
Turkish media brought to light that the Turkish Red Crescent sold blood to public hospitals after it became known that the institution sold tents to an NGO that distributed them to earthquake victims.
The law regulating blood donations in Turkey does not allow it to be sold, however, state hospitals open tenders for the blood they need under another law regulating the "procurement of goods" for public institutions, and buy blood from the Red Crescent through direct procurement method, according to Article 22-b of the Tender Law, Cumhuriyet reported.
Sait Kerman, a Turkish Red Crescent official in charge of blood services, said that public hospitals operate a business in accordance with laws and regulations.
"Public hospitals abide by the state's procurement procedures in their work. It is possible to open another title for blood and take it to another place than those listed in the article of the tender law. Our state can decide on this. The Red Crescent does what the state says,” he said.
Cumhuriyet also listed numerous examples from various provinces in Turkey where public hospitals purchased blood from the Turkish Crescent under the right to tender.
The Red Crescent was subjected to heavy criticism for selling tents to Ahbap, Turkey’s largest NGO who proved most effective in earthquake response, instead of delivering them as aid to earthquake survivors in the immediate wake of the earthquakes on 6 February.
Turkish Red Crescent's 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.