The TURKISH RED CRESCENT SOCIETY was born from a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded and sick soldiers on the battlefield.
The Red Crescent was established on 11 June 1868 with the name "Osmanli Yarali ve Hasta Askerlere Yardim Cemiyeti" and was renamed as, "Osmanli Hilali Ahmer Cemiyeti" in 1877, "Turkiye Hilaliahmer Cemiyeti" in 1923,"Turkiye Kizilay Cemiyeti" in 1935, and "Turkiye Kizilay Dernegi" in 1947. The name "KIZILAY" was given to the organisation by the great leader Ataturk.
The emblem of the Red Crescent is a red “crescent” on a white background, which opens leftwards when viewed from the front. It is only on the Red Crescent flag that the open side of the "crescent" looks to the opposite direction of the mast.
The emblem of the Red Crescent has been accepted by the related stipulations of the Public International Law as a “protective and indicative sign” for the health services of the armed forces as well as the persons and organizations determined by those stipulations at times of war. No other person, board, or organisation may use this emblem, which is an indication of impartiality and immunity in wars.
Within the period between the Ottoman – Russian war in 1876 to the 1974 Cyprus Peace Operation, in all the wars Turkey has been a party to, the Red Crescent has assisted in delivering health care and treatment to tens of thousands of wounded or sick Turkish as well as friendly and enemy soldiers through the mobile and stationary hospitals it established behind the front, patient transport services, the hospital ships it has equipped and the nurses and volunteer healthcare assistants it has trained. It has also provided the required humanitarian assistance to both Turkish and enemy prisoners of war, spent efforts for the care and protection of civilians affected by the war; provided care, shelter, and food to victims of natural disasters that have occurred in our country since the big cholera epidemic in Istanbul after the commence of the 1st Constitutional Monarchy period, and participated in international relief activities, pioneered in nursing training, first aid and blood-related services, and extended the required social support and services to many of our vulnerable citizens.
The purpose of the Red Crescent is to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found, to protect life and health, and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, respect, cooperation, and lasting peace among all peoples. The Red Crescent is the symbol of solidarity in need, of equality at times of distress, and of humanism, neutrality, and peace at the fiercest moments of war.
The Red Crescent shares the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Crescent – Red Cross
Community. These principles are: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity, and Universality.
The Red Crescent is a legal entity and subject to the stipulations of private law; a non-profit and volunteer social service organisation, of which relief and services are free and which works for the benefit of the public.
The organisation of the Red Crescent consists of the General Headquarters and branches. All the positions outside the Red Crescent General Directorate organisation are honorary.
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF THE RED CRESCENT
The Red Crescent, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavours, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation, and lasting peace among all peoples.
The Red Crescent makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class, or political opinions. It endeavours to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.
In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Red Crescent may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious, or ideological nature.
The Red Crescent is independent. While an auxiliary in the humanitarian services of The Republic of Turkey and subject to the laws of Turkey, it always maintains its autonomy so that it may be able at all times to act in accordance with the fundamental principles of the International Red Crescent-Red Cross.
The Red Crescent is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.
There is only one Turkish Red Crescent Society in Turkey and no other organizations can be established in Turkey with the same purpose and name. It is open to all. It carries on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.
The Red Crescent is a worldwide organization and has equal status with all foreign National Societies and shares equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other with them.