'Human Love is at the Basis of Our Understanding of Aid'

30/06/2020

Yunus Emre Institute President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş hosted Turkish Red Crescent Society President Dr. Kerem Kınık and Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency Head Dr. Mehmet Güllüoğlu at his program, "Rethinking, Reinterpreting." Dr. Güllüoğlu stated that human love is at the basis of humanitarian aid understanding in the Turkish culture. Dr. Kınık, on the other hand, said that when other countries go abroad they think about "What can we take from this country?" whereas, when a Turkish institution such as Yunus Emre Institute, Turkish Red Crescent Society, or Turkish Maarif Foundation go abroad, they think about "What can we give to this country?"

Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) Head Dr. Mehmet Güllüoğlu and Turkish Red Crescent Society President Dr. Kerem Kınık have given an interview to Institute President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş at the "Rethinking Reinterpreting" program aired online by Yunus Emre Institute on Friday, June 26. The program, broadcast live by Anadolu Agency for the first time, has been translated into English and Arabic. The program was watched intently by thousands from around the world. 
 

'HUMAN LOVE IS AT THE BASIS OF OUR UNDERSTANDING OF AID'

AFAD President Dr. Mehmet Güllüoğlu underlined the quality of volunteering activities. Likening aiding others to drinking water, Dr. Güllüoğlu compared the traditions of aiding others as they exist in the Turkish culture and in the West. "I have not seen anything in Europe like the characteristics of our own culture," he said. Dr. Güllüoğlu pointed out that whereas the social responsibility projects carried out by big companies or corporations are mostly conducted with the aim of marketing, on the other hand, there is human love at the basis of humanitarian aid understanding in Turkish culture.

'WHOEVER GUIDES SOMEONE TO GOODNESS WILL HAVE A REWARD LIKE ONE WHO DID IT'

Dr. Güllüoğlu said that Turkey have the culture of self-inquiry before we go to sleep at night and explained the importance of the spiritual meaning of aid institutions as follows: "The Prophet (PBUH) said in one hadith, 'Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a reward like one who did it'. So, as the workers of such glorious aid institutions, I hope we can also have a share from this."

'WHITE HAS NOT SUPERIORITY OVER BLACK, NOR BLACK HAS ANY SUPERIORITY OVER WHITE'

Dr. Güllüoğlu stated that the AFAD has been in geographies as Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Somalia and Kenya where humanitarian crises are experienced, as well as in cities where meetings are held about these crises such as Brussels, Geneva, New York, London and Washington. At this point, stating that they experience two extremes around the same subject, Güllüoğlu emphasized the importance of conscience by stating that the real homeland of human beings is the heart. Comparing these geographies, which seem to be two extremes due to the conditions they are in, “Now when we look at the spiritual side, when you ask whether Syria or Britain is better than the other in this sense… Britain is in a more difficult position," he said. Touching on racism against the black people in America and England, Dr. Güllüoğlu, referred to Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) words in his last sermon: "An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black, nor a black has any superiority over white.  Superiority is only in piety." 

'IF WE HAVE SOMETHING, WE SHARE IT WITH THE OTHER'

Prof. Dr. Ateş: We are not seeking a national interest here; we are trying to find out how we can contribute to the solution of common problems of humanity and what humanitarian and spiritual dimensions we can add to these problems… If we have something, we share it with the other. That is because souls have to be one. 

"All over the world, as well as in Turkey, people began to question themselves and to seek more knowledge and wisdom," Prof. Dr. Ateş said, explaining the reason why the Institute's program is watched in many parts of the world as follows: 

"That is because we are not seeking a national interest here; we are trying to find out how we can contribute to the solution of common problems of humanity and what humanitarian and spiritual dimensions we can add to these problems… If we have something, we share it with the other. That is because souls have to be one."

'COMPASSION SHOULD BE TAUGHT'

Stating that the concept of compassion is a case that needs to be developed and taught, Turkish Red Crescent Society Head Dr. Kerem Kınık emphasized that the most important treasure of a society is not the financial wealth, but the values they believe in together.

Kınık pointed out that it is meaningless for developing states to feel inferiority complex against the developed Western world. "We have seen in the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak that some of the developed states that look down on others left their elderly to die in nursing homes. If we eliminate persecution, feed the human, and prevent injustice, then this system will only then be disrupted and a spark will be burned to gain social self-confidence," he said. Kınık added:

"If we collect the viruses from all 20-30 million COVID-19 patients in the world, a mass that will not even fit in our palm will show up. You see, this tiny mass has made the whole world to get down on its knees and revealed to the world how fragile it is, regardless of borders, as well as of being poor or rich."

GLOBAL COOPERATION IS REQUIRED

Prof. Dr. Kınık: Our society is one of the few societies in the world who wants peace not war. We should cooperate with people who are also pursuing this goal outside of our country.

Stressing that there are two options for the world after the pandemic, Kınık said: "We either opt for global cooperation against this global threat, or a scenario awaits us, in which states become autocratic and close their borders."

Kınık stated that Turkey holds in its hands huge values that it can offer to humanity. "Our society is one of the few societies in the world who wants peace not war. We should cooperate with people who are also pursuing this goal outside of our country," he said.

Turkish Red Crescent Society Head Kınık indicated: "When other countries go abroad, they think about 'What can we take from this country?' whereas, when a Turkish institution such as Yunus Emre Institute Turkish Red Crescent Society, or Turkish Maarif Foundation go abroad, they think about "What can we give to this country?"

Reminding that it is the 152nd year of the Turkish Red Crescent Society, Kınık noted that they opened a museum in Gallipoli in Çanakkale and they expect those who want to see their history to the museum.