Turkey’s Role in Humanitarian Challenges of Our Time
On Monday, September 24, 2018, The SETA Foundation at Washington D.C. and MUSIAD USA hosted an event in New York City titled “Turkey’s Role in Humanitarian Challenges of Our Time.” The timely discussion highlighted Turkey’s humanitarian aid that has reach millions around the world. Her Excellency the First Lady of Turkey, Emine Erdogan, delivered a keynote speech reflecting on her work for women and refugees and Turkey’s role in humanitarian assistance in the world.
Mrs. Erdogan highlighted the numerous humanitarian aid institutions in Turkey that, alongside Turkey’s civil society, assist over 3.5 million Syrian refugees. Furthermore, she mentioned what Turkey is doing to better help those in need of humanitarian assistance across the region, including providing humanitarian aid in Myanmar and Gaza. Reflecting on a trip to visit refugees in Myanmar, Mrs. Erdogan mentioned that she witnessed the dangers that awaits these women and children if the international community turns its back on humanitarian aid. Her Excellency contended that humanitarian aid policy should be a way to reduce dependency on donors. Additionally, humanitarian aid policy should contribute toward preventing the exacerbation of crises. Supporting refugees with training and equipment allows people to discover their potential.
Following the First Lady, a panel including practitioners had a discussion on humanitarian assistance and Turkey’s role and challenges surrounding aid. Panelists included Mehmet Oz, Columbia University; Mehmet Gulluoglu, President at Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD); Burhanettin Duran, General Coordinator at The SETA Foundation; and, Bassam Barabandi, Co-Founder and Director of External Relations at People Demand Change. Kilic Bugra Kanat, Research Director at The SETA Foundation at Washington D.C. moderated the discussion.