Here at Fethiye Times we’re avid followers of the news as we like to keep our readers up to date with what is happening. We often come across articles about Turkish activities abroad so today, we thought we’d share some with you…

Turkish Day turns New York red and white

Turkey abroad
Turkish citizens flocked to Times Square in New York carrying the Turkish flag

New York turned red and white over the weekend as thousands of Turkish citizens flocked to the center of the city to attend the 27th Turkish Day Parade and Festival.

The two-day celebration kicked off on Saturday with a traditional performance by the Turkish Armed Forces’ Ottoman Military Band, known as “Mehter” in Turkish, in Times Square.

Turkey abroad

On Sunday, Turkish singer Mustafa Sandal and musician Selim Bölükbaşı performed a concert in front of Brooklyn City Hall. The gathering began with playing of the Turkish and American national anthems and was followed by speeches by officials in attendance before Sandal took the stage. Dance groups, who travelled from Turkey to attend, performed folk dance shows.

Turkey abroad
Mustafa Sandal performing in front of Brooklyn City Hall on Turkish Day

Thousands of Turkish citizens joined the event, including world-famous Turkish heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Öz.

Brooklyn Mayor Eric Adams also participated in the celebration, expressing his love for Turkish people and culture, and applauding Turkey’s hospitality to Syrian refugees.

For more photographs please visit Republic of Turkey Consulate General on Twitter

Turkish Red Crescent marks its 151st year serving humanity

Turkey abroad
This file photo shows Turkish Red Crescent volunteers help Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar, in Bangladesh, Dec. 2017

The Turkish Red Crescent (Türk Kızılay), the most prominent charity of the country, marked its 151st year on Tuesday. The charity was founded on June 11, 1868 and over the years, evolved from a small charity into an international humanitarian group.

It was originally established by a group of physicians as the Society for Aiding Wounded and Ailing Ottoman Soldiers. Its primary goal was to help soldiers wounded on the fronts, but over time, it went on to become a charity responding to natural and man-made disasters around the world under its ever-recognizable logo of red crescent facing left against a white background.

The Red Crescent is active anywhere in the world when humanitarian needs arise but it maintains permanent offices in the Balkans, Cyprus, Iraq, Palestine, South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Last year, it reached out to 7 million people in 53 countries for humanitarian aid. Along with simple food packages for people from disadvantaged communities across the world, Red Crescent provided accommodation and hygiene kits for them as well.

Turkey Abroad
Turkish Red Crescent Sent More Than 42,000 Aid Trucks to Syria Since 2011

Although it is known as a humanitarian organization helping countries suffering from man-made and natural disasters, the Red Crescent is more famous in Turkey for its blood drives, soup kitchens and providing tents for displaced refugees and victims of earthquakes. It runs blood donation centers across the country, along with more than 350 mobile trucks where people can donate blood. It had about 2.7 million blood donors last year and carries out a joint project with Health Ministry for a stem cell database for people in need.

Turkey Abroad
The Turkish Red Crescent aims to meet all the blood needs of our country from safe and continuous donators with its Regional Blood Centers, Blood Donation Centers and mobile blood donation vehichels.

For Syrian refugees in Turkey, the Red Crescent is mostly known as supplier of Kızılay Card. The debit card distributed to more than 2 million refugees in the country, which hosts the largest Syrian refugee community at more than 3.5 million people, helps them with shopping at grocery stores with preloaded cash.

Volunteers seek to quench thirst in Nigeria with wells

Turkey Abroad
People look on as a water well is drilled in Nigeria’s Kwali by a Turkish charity, June 10, 2019.

Volunteers from Turkish charities have drilled more than 300 water wells in Nigeria, a country grappling with water shortages in rural areas and the lack of access to clean water, offering lifelines to thousands.

Adamder, the Aziz Mahmut Hüdayi Foundation, the Beşir Association and the Turkish Diyanet Foundation (TDV), which is associated with Turkey’s state-run religious authority, and the Bir El Association are among the charities that have contributed to the installation of the wells.

Volunteers have reached out everywhere, including to schools, villages, mosques and refugee camps, in the African country, crossing through rough terrain in remote areas to help the needy.

Nigeria has two seasons in a year, with six months of sporadic rainfall and six months of a lengthy dry spell. In areas without water treatment plants or any source of clean water, people resort to muddy waters containing moss and use it as drinking water. Alum stones, a potassium-rich rock which is historically used to clarify muddy waters, is the only option for villagers in a country of 200 million people with an insufficient water network.

People in mostly rural areas have to travel up to 6 kilometers to access clean water. Apart from the usual health and hygiene problems, water shortages also create an indirect challenge to education. Children are often responsible for fetching water for their families and have to walk kilometers every day to find water in streams and ponds. The unclean water they fetch from these sources leads to the spread of waterborne diseases.

A child drinks from a water pump at a well drilled by the Turkish charity Vuslat. Photo Credit: Daily Sabah

In a world where more than 2 billion people still lack access to clean water, Turkish charities have opened water wells all over Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Ten Turkish charities have established more than 8,800 water wells around the world so far.

Sources: Daily Sabah/ of Turkey Consulate General/Türk Kızılay