Erdoğan’s ally Destici calls on Turkish Red Crescent chief to resign after scandals

President Erdoğan’s ally, ultranationalist Great Unity Party (BBP) leader Mustafa Destici has once again called on Turkish Red Crescent’s (“Kızılay”) head Kerem Kınık to resign after the organization has drawn severe ire with its sales of food items and tents to charity Ahbap during the post-earthquake period. Lately, the Kızılay announced that the blood stocks "have fallen below the minimum level."

This collage shows BBP leader Mustafa Destici (L) and Turkish Red Crescent head Kerem Kınık (R)

Duvar English

The leader of the far-right Great Unity Party (BBP), which is an ally of the government, Mustafa Destici on April 12 called on the head of Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay), Kerem Kınık, to resign for “harming the institutional structure.”

Destici said on Twitter that “The president of Kızılay should fulfill his responsibilities and leave the post to those who are responsible by realizing that he acts as a barrier in front of all donations, especially blood donations, harms the institutional structure, and disgraces the efforts of tens of thousands of employees. Our people who are in good health should definitely go to the centers of Kızılay to donate blood, and none of our patients should lose their lives because there is no blood available.”

This is the third time Destici called on Kınık to resign in the last two months.

Destici’s latest call came after Kızılay announced that the blood stocks "have fallen below the minimum level" due to the "Ramadan and not being able to receive donations from quake-survivors."

Opposition figures argued that Kızılay's latest scandals contributed to the decrease in blood donations and called on people to donate more.

Previously, Kınık refused to resign, arguing a “chaos” would arise in Kızılay if he were to resign from the organization.

Following the Feb. 6 quakes, Kızılay has been at the center of criticism, especially with the tent scandal. It was severely criticized for selling tents and food it was supposed to send to earthquake victims to the NGOs after the quakes. Reports also revealed that the institution sold second-hand goods donated by the citizens.

Citizens asked why Kızılay did not distribute the tents for free at a critical time, questioning what the organization has been doing with their donations.