TURKISH AMBASSADOR TO MALAYSIA SHARES TURKISH HUMANITARIAN EFFORTS
UUM ONLINE: Turkey's role in humanitarian work in the international arena is probably unknown to many however Turkey is one of the countries that actively contribute to humanitarian activities in other countries.
Turkish Ambassador to Malaysia, H.E. Merve Kavakci said that a report published by the Global Humanitarian Assistance in 2017 positioned Turkey as the largest contributor of humanitarian aid in the world.
According to her, Turkey contributed over USD8 billion worth of humanitarian aid in 2017, ahead of the United States which came in second place with USD6.5 billion worth of humanitarian aid followed by Germany at USD3 billion and United Kingdom at USD2.3 billion.
She said contributing aid is part of the Turkish and Islamic identity.
"Giving assistance is not a new practise for the Turkish people and it has taken place for centuries, for example in the 14th century, the Ottoman Empire welcomed the Jews who escaped from the cruelty committed against them by Ferdinand and Isabella after Andalusia was successfully conquered in 1492.
"Meanwhile in the 18th century, when Ireland was hit by a great famine, Sultan Abdulmajid contributed aid to the starving population even though Turkey is separated by 4,000 miles and Ireland being a Christian nation.
"Turkey also protected the Jews who escaped the atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler during Nazi occupation in Germany and now Turkey is host to some 3.5 million Syrian refugees who took refuge in the country due to the crisis in their country," she said this when delivering a lecture titled 'Turkey's Humanitarian and Enterprising Foreign Policy' at the Auditorium, School of International School Auditorium (SOIS), yesterday.
According to her, Turkey's success in helping outsiders is the result of it paving the way to move far beyond the realm of foreign policy in the shape of realism.
"The realism approach is closely related to Machiavelli's beliefs that you will do what you need to do to maximize power, put forth your own interests, ignore others, marginalize oneself and shun the others.
"Turkey is progressing from this approach and taking a more idealistic approach which is to do the right thing as it is the only thing to do," she said.