The Turkish Red Crescent (Türk Kızılayı) has announced its accession to membership in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) following efforts of the organization throughout the year, along with the North Cyprus Turkish Red Crescent's attaining observer status in the same body.
The Turkish Red Crescent, a humanitarian organization that in its mission provides relief to the vulnerable and needy by “mobilizing the power and resources of the community to protect human dignity anytime, anywhere, under any conditions” and “supports the enhancement of the community's capacity to cope with disasters,” in a bid to be chosen one of the members of IFRC's administrative board, ran to gain membership in the board at the general meeting of the organization held between Nov. 12-20 in the Australian city of Sydney. Among the 10 national organizations from Europe nominated for the membership -- including countries such as Spain, England, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Belarus -- Turkey has been elected a member of the board, receiving 111 votes, which constituted the majority of the votes. The membership in the administrative board of IFRC will finish in 2017.
The Turkish Red Crescent, which has become a major actor in the field of aiding the needy parallel with supporters' efforts and the increasing power Turkey has achieved recently, will now, with the new status it has gained, determine the agenda of the humanitarian aid moves and will have a voice in making decisions on various issues.
Another achievement and piece of good news was the North Cyprus Turkish Red Crescent's attendance at the meetings of 2013 Council of Delegates and the IFRC General Assembly with an observer status.
The IFRC, which had not recognized Northern Cyprus as a representative, only accepting Southern Cyprus as a representative since 2005, through sustained diplomatic efforts carried out by the Turkish Red Crescent -- against significant international opposition -- solved the problem to some extent by allowing the North Cyprus National Red Crescent attended the meetings as an observer member.
Reassured by the IFRC that the North Cyprus National Red Crescent can now attend meetings to be held in the future years by the organization, the Turkish Red Crescent considers this a significant step in the branch attaining international recognition.