When humanitarian aid is mentioned Turkey comes to mind - ERDAL TANAS KARAGÖL

When humanitarian aid is mentioned Turkey comes to mind

With every humanitarian crisis, Turkey proves once more that it is a leading country in humanitarian aid. Recently, once again, Turkey was the first country to reach out in the Myanmar humanitarian crisis. While developed countries remain silent, as always, Turkey does not hesitate to take on responsibility in the region which is currently experiencing a major atrocity.

Great sacrifices were made under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from the moment the crisis in Myanmar started. However, until this moment, the countries that we call developed, which uphold human rights and freedom at all times, are yet to take a step aimed at solving the crisis.

However, President Erdoğan, who reacted to the silence and impassivity, called United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and asked him to take action to end the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar. In addition to this, he also spoke with leaders in Myanmar.

The latest point reached is that Turkey extended a helping hand to the region through the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) and President Erdoğan’s wife, First Lady Emine Erdoğan visited the region. Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya is also accompanying her on this visit.

As in the Myanmar example, all these show the success of Turkey’s humanitarian aid performance. Turkey is taking on responsibility without any hesitation in a geographically distant region, solely for the people there who need humanitarian aid, where it does not seek any economic or political gains.

Most importantly, Turkey is making efforts to prevent Rohingya Muslims from falling victim to the plans of the countries in the region.


Turkey assumed similar responsibilities many times before the Myanmar incident. It took on one of its most important responsibilities in the Syrian humanitarian crisis. According to August data, there are currently 3,141,380 Syrians in Turkey. European countries that closed both their doors and their consciences to the Syrians, who are left in the middle of a humanitarian crisis, which is escalating every day, cannot even come close to the humanitarian responsibility undertaken by Turkey.

If we remember, in addition to helping the Syrians, in 2011, President Erdoğan had visited Somalia, which was dealing with the famine crisis and where no country representative wanted to even set foot. He extended Turkey’s helping hand – with all segments of society – to Somalia, which was abandoned to its fate.

It was always Tukey that produced a solution in the humanitarian crises in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Iraq and Palestine. As a matter of fact, in doing this, it never sought any political or economic gain from those countries or communities. The fundamental reason why Turkey is currently being mentioned with gratitude and thankfulness, in regions whose names we do not even know, is both the generosity shown in humanitarian aid and the sincerity shown in providing the humanitarian aid.

Hence, Turkey being the second country to provide the most humanitarian aid in the world is no coincidence. With the $6 billion it has allocated to humanitarian aid, Turkey follows the U.S. When compared based on country incomes, Turkey ascends to the top rank. Countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, the EU and Sweden, despite having high-income economies, come after Turkey in humanitarian aid.


Although it may seem as an expense for the Turkish economy, humanitarian aid is quite important in terms of Turkey’s ties in far regions. Because, the source allocated for aid operations, as a matter of fact, humanitarian aid provided without seeking any gains, establishes a direct sentimental bond with the country that is has provided aid to.

In addition to this, humanitarian aid is one of the most effective tools that can change the negative perception that is deliberately and globally tried to be formed in relation to Turkey. Of course, the continuity of both political and economic stability is necessary for humanitarian aid to be sustainable.

The real reason behind Turkey gaining prominence as the “center country of humanitarian aid” in the 2000s is Turkey being a country that requires no political or economic assistance.

Therefore, we are not going to be the only ones effected by the chaos that is tried to be set off in Turkey from time to time; countries and communities that take Turkey as a role model, that await help and are at the center of humanitarian crisis will also be effected.

This fact, which is expressed with the statement, “Turkey is bigger than Turkey,” should guide us both in the economy and when taking political decisions.


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