AKP, MHP vote down proposal for parliamentary inquiry into sales by Turkish Red Crescent

AKP and MHP lawmakers have voted down a parliamentary motion calling for an investigation into the Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) over its sale of tents and food items to charity Ahbap after the earthquakes.

Duvar English

Lawmakers of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Feb. 28 voted down a proposal demanding a parliamentary inquiry into the sale of food items and tents by the Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) during the earthquake-post period.

The proposal was submitted by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) after it has recently come to light that Kızılay sold tents and food to charity Ahbap to be distributed to the earthquake victims. In the face of this revelation, Kızılay Kerem Kınık tried to defend himself by saying he was not informed about the sales and criticized his colleagues once he found out about it.

“I did not know that 2,050 tents were sold to Ahbap. When I found out about it, I criticized my colleagues,” Kınık said on broadcaster CNN Türk on Feb. 27

CHP Ankara lawmaker Tekin Bingöl said that Kızılay itself is not the topic of discussion, but rather “the management understanding of those running Kızılay.”

“Kerem Kınık says, ‘This was a wrong act’ (referring to the sale to Ahbap). He says he did not know. Be scared of God (for not telling the truth). You are the chairman of this institution. It turns out you have sold the tents not only to Ahbap, but also to several companies and NGOs,” Bingöl said.

Opposition İYİ (Good) Party Aksaray lawmaker Ayhal Erel said that Kızılay is normally one of the most rooted and respectable institutions of the Turkish Republic, but today its name echoes with “allegations of corruption, irregularities and nepotism.”

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Ankara lawmaker Filiz Kerestecioğlu similarly slammed Kızılay executives, by saying: “You are focused on selling everything and making off profit. You would not even resign without receiving instructions. What did you do at the institution? They sold tents, food and blood. What else is there to sell? Are they going to sell us?"

After the deputies took the floor and expressed their statements, the proposal was put to the vote in the parliament and turned down with the votes of the AKP and MHP lawmakers.