October 11, 2014

Gov't cancels Kimse Yok Mu’s previously obtained permissions

Following an abrupt Cabinet decision to remove the status of public interest of Kimse Yok Mu, the largest volunteer and global aid organization based in Turkey, the government has also cancelled the charity’s previously obtained permissions to collect donation until the end of this year.

The charity was notified about the decision by the Interior Ministry through İstanbul Governor’s Office, which effectively halts the charity’s ongoing flow of aid to many regions in Turkey and abroad, including Gaza.

Kimse Yok Mu is the only aid organization in Turkey that holds UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) special consultative status, and it developed internationally recognized relief programs in partnership with the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) in 2013. It was also granted the Turkish Grand National Assembly Outstanding Service Award in 2013 under (Justice and Development Party (AK Party) rule.

Kimse Yok Mu is active in 113 countries around the world. The charity distributes food, the meat of sacrificed animals, construct hospitals, schools and orphanages and dig water wells to extend a helping hand to those in need.

Among the charity’s ongoing aid campaigns that will be left unfinished with the latest decision are construction of orphanages in Sudan and Burundi; construction of schools for children of Syrian refugees in Kilis and Yayladağı as well as many other campaigns to help needy across the world.

In what is seen by many as an arbitrary move, the Cabinet removed Kimse Yok Mu's public interest status, which would prevent it from collecting donations earlier this month. According to critics, the decision is a part of the government's ongoing hate campaign against the Hizmet movement, one of the largest faith-based communities in Turkey. Kimse Yok Mu is influenced by Hizmet.

Published on Today's Zaman, 11 October 2014, Saturday