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"Be Hope for Palestine” Relief Campaign Begins! 21 May 2018

The humanitarian aid campaign for the people of Palestine who came under heavy attack by the Israeli army during demonstrations in the Gaza border area, recorded in history as “Bloody Monday”, is now underway.

The promotion meeting of “Be Hope for Palestine” aid campaign organized under the coordination of the Prime Minister Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and attended by representatives of the Turkish Red Crescent, the Turkish Diyanet Foundation and a number of nongovernmental organizations as well as Deputy Prime Minister Prof. Dr. Recep Akdağ was held at the Prime Ministry General Directorate of State Archives Ottoman Archive Department.

During his speech at the event, Akdağ said, “We expect the support of Turkish people, the nation and all 81 million of our citizens to the ‘Be Hope for Palestine” relief campaign.”

Head of AFAD Dr. Mehmet Güllüoğlu, President of Turkish Red Crescent Dr. Kerem Kınık, General Manager of Turkish Diyanet Foundation Mehmet Savaş Polat and General Manager of Turkish Red Crescent Dr. İbrahim Altan participated at the meeting.

Deputy Prime Minister Akdağ stated that Turkey has been striving in an effort to offer aid to the Palestinians but faced many obstructions in its relief efforts adding; "Distinguished friends, this is the problem; what they aim to do is preventing aid to reach the people. This is something against humanity. They have already committed crimes against humanity by opening fire on civilians, they martyred, massacred more than 60 totally peaceful protestors who did not have any arms and there are many injured protestors. You have already committed this crime, least you could do is to allow relief and aid to reach the people, but they do try to prevent such attempts. In this light, we are seeking alternatives, we are knocking every door. Within this framework, AFAD’s project that will be carried out in cooperation with the World Health Organization is very important.”

Akdağ said the World Health Organization and AFAD have developed a project adding that, “AFAD will procure medicine, medical equipment and medical consumables that will approximately cost one million and two thousand dollars and will send them to Gaza via the World Health Organization.”

Akdağ said that there are 757 injured patients, 86 of them women and 224 children in the hospitals according to the data collected by the World Health Organization and added, “127 of those are severely injured with the risk of death. There are 19 health workers among the injured. Seven ambulances were damaged during the attacks. There are 16 to 20 hours long electricity cuts every day in Gaza. These are the data of the United Nations. Refah border gate remained open only for 21 days since the beginning of 2018.

In the light of all these facts, we expect all Turkish people, all 81 million of our citizens to make donations via SMS messages or to bank accounts. AFAD’s SMS number is 1866, Turkish Red Crescent’s SMS number is 2868, those who want to participate in the campaign can write Palestine and send it to these SMS numbers in order to make a donation.

Akdağ reminded that the Turkish Diyanet Foundation accepts online charity as a part of the “Be Hope for Palestine” relief campaign and civil society can support the campaign by starting independent relief campaigns.


Palestine is not left alone

Noting that Turkey has been offering its helping hand to Palestine via both state and nongovernmental organizations in addition to support by AFAD, the Turkish Red Crescent, the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) and TİKA, Deputy Prime Minister Akdağ said, “Donations collected and transferred since today is huge. We know that AFAD has sent more than 200 million liras, TİKA has sent approximately 400 million liras and Turkish Red Crescent has sent neary 500 million lira as aid untill now.

"The campaign will be supported via television programs”

Prime Minister Recep Akdağ said, "Next week, we will support and promote the campaign via television programs. We are planning to broadcast a joint television program under the coordination of the TRT during Iftar dinner and we will try to catch the attention of our people for the campaign”.

Akdağ noted that AFAD will cooperate with the World Health Organization to find the right channel to transfer the collected money directly to the Palestine officials, nongovernmental organizations, and the UN Palestine refugee agency.

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