International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation has been drawing attention to its humanitarian relief activities worldwide and has now come to the aid of Syrian refugees in Gaziantep and Kilis.
IBC has been operating and implementing projects in cities bordering Syria for some time and recently opened a 4-story community center in Gaziantep, in partnership with Gaziantep municipality. Afterwards a Women Solidarity Center was established in Kilis.
Opening ceremony for the community center was held in 23 April district of Gaziantep and was attended by IBC President Recep Üker, Programs Director Tolga Baca, Head of the Migration Office at Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Önder Yalçın and CSO representatives.
After a moment of silence and singing of the national anthem a speech was delivered by Tolga Baca highlighting the activities of the community center. According to Baca the center will be used to provide counselling services to Syrians as well as conducting arts related activities. It will also be used as a café for socialization purposes and a place where children can play safely.
Head of the Migration Office at Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Önder Yalçın has stated the community center established with IBC will be very beneficial for Syrians. After the speeches a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place to mark the opening of the center.
IBC has also been continuing its work in Kilis. 15th of July Martyrs Women’s Vocational Center is now open for public use.
15th of July Women’s Vocational Center was renovated by IBC in partnership with Kilis municipality and can be used by both Syrian and Turkish women. The opening of the center has been received with great enthusiasm by Syrian and Turkish women.
The opening ceremony was attended by Kilis mayor Hasan Kara, IBC President Recep Üker, AK Party MP Mustafa Hilmi Dülger, 7 Aralık University President Prof Dr. Mustafa Doğan Karacoşkun, Deputy mayors Mehmet Ali Eryılmaz, Cuma Özdemir and Ahmet Polat, and guests.
IBC president Recep Üker stated they have been active in Kilis since the day problems started in Syria and said: “We conduct many activities. I believe this is our most valuable activity yet as we will be conducted this activity in cooperation with local authorities. This center is not solely for Syrian women but also for local women. We hope activities like this will multiply.” during his opening speech.
Mayor Hasan Kara stated during his speech that traditional Kilis houses are renovated upon purchasing and repurposed as centers where Syrian and Turkish women can take vocational courses. Accroding to Kara: “Drawing attention to such beauty is a beautiful thing but the real beauty here is that our women can have a place to unwind. People get the chance to relax here where we operate municipality’s social activities. We might be doing okay ourselves but some Turkish and Syrian members of our community live under very harsh conditions. Being a social municipality, being a great state can only be accomplished through taking care of them. These houses are a way to do this. It becomes a place where these people can breathe.” MP Dülger has said: “As the government we can do anything. We can build roads, supply water, provide everything. These services will all be superficial if not based on humanity. We are trying to bring the concept of social municipality and social services to a new level through these establishments. Here we don’t say Syrian, Turkish, American or African. We serve humans. I personally thank every involved in spreading these services.” After the conclusion of speeches 15th July Women’s Vocational Center was officially opened and toured by ceremony attendees.
Both services will serve thousands of Turkish and Syrian women annually.