Armenian Patriarchate awards Turkish Kızılay with medalSource : http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=honor-medal-to-kizilay-by-the-armenian-patriarchate-2011-03-01
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Deputy Patriarch Archbishop Aram Ateşyan (R) gives a medal to Kızılay General Chairman Tekin Küçükali.
The Turkish Armenian Patriarchate has awarded the Turkish Red Crescent, or Kızılay, with a medal of honor in a sign of gratitude for the latter’s aid in December 2010 for 3,000 needy people under the patriarchate’s care.
The medals were given to Kızılay General Chairman Tekin Küçükali, Kızılay adviser Kamil Akyıldız and Kızılay Adalar branch executive board member Avedis Hilkat by Deputy Patriarch Archbishop Aram Ateşyan.
The patriarchate and Kızılay jointly decided in December 2010 to help people in need living in the area surrounding the patriarchate’s main building in Istanbul’s Kumkapı district, home to people from many ethnic backgrounds who speak various languages.
Hilkat, who is also the deputy head of the Republican People’s Party, or CHP’s, Adalar branch, played a key role in realizing the joint action. Kızılay provided the patriarchate with 1,000 packages of food and clothing.
“I have received many medals, but this prize is of a special significance to me, as I received the medal from the patriarchate’s committee for helping it help people in need,” Küçükali told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review late last week.
He also said the prize was the first of its type given by the patriarchate, which made him even more emotional.
“We did our duty to brotherhood and humanity and will keep supporting [people] whenever there is need,” Küçükali said, adding that he did not want to consider what they had done as “help,” but rather considered it a duty.
Debate on security of aid packages
A large debate emerged in the Armenian community over the aid, as the patriarchate argued the aid packages had to be stored in its building rather than in cellars so that they could be safe. Hilkat said that after considering all the criticism, they had decided to take the aid packages to Kızılay’s storerooms in Istanbul’s Maltepe district and the church’s other available storage spaces.
Noting that the patriarchate would not discriminate on the basis of religion, language or race while distributing the aid, Hilkat said, “There are 3,000 families in need in Kumkapı, as registered by the patriarchate, of Turkish, African and Armenian origin, who were assisted by the donated aid collected by the Armenian Church without any discrimination.”
The patriarchate faced serious financial problems after the recent financial crisis, according to Hilkat; he said he had brought the idea of providing aid to the people in need to Kızılay’s general chairman.
Pour rappel : Istanbul : le Croissant Rouge turc vient en aide aux pauvres sans-papiers arméniens