Turkish Red Crescent celebrates 151st anniversary

The Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay) on Tuesday celebrated its 151st anniversary.

Kizilay is the largest humanitarian organization in Turkey, with an international network through which it provides relief to other nations in need.

It was founded on June, 11, 1868 as the Society for Aiding the Wounded and Ailing Ottoman Soldiers.

Over the years it has been called the Ottoman Red Crescent Society (1877), Turkey's Red Crescent Community (1923), Turkish Red Crescent Community (1935), and finally, Turkish Red Crescent Society (1947).

The name Kizilay (red crescent moon) was given to the institution by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.

The group's logo, a red crescent facing left against a white background, is the accepted protective and defining symbol for the medical services of armed forces in times of war, as well as for individuals and institutions, says Kizilay's official website.

Kizilay's symbol cannot be used by any other individuals or institutions as it symbolizes immunity and neutrality during wartime.

Kizilay is also active in providing disaster management, blood donations, healthcare, first aid, international aid, and immigration and refugee services.

"Providing aid for needy and defenseless people in disasters and normal periods as a proactive organization, developing cooperation in society, providing safe blood supplies, and reducing vulnerability," is Kizilay's mission, according to its official website.

Kizilay provides unconditional aid and non-profit, volunteer-based social services, and is a corporate body governed by special legal provisions.

Kizilay strives to be a model in humanitarian aid service in Turkey and in the world with people in their hardest times, the website added.

Source: Anadolu Agency