On 28. December 2018, in the presence of Mr Kerem Kinik, President of the Turkish Red Crescent and Vice President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) for the European region, Turkish Red Crescent Representation office in BiH was officially opened in Sarajevo.
In mid-November, teams of Turkish Red Crescent actively participated in the improvement of conditions in which migrants live in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In coordination with the Red Cross Society of BiH (RCSBIH), 2,300 persons have been accommodated in the reception center of the former BIRA production plant in Bihać.
Turkish red crescent has been very active in the past period in BiH and other Balkan countries, but did not have a representation office in this country. With the opening of this representative office, Turkish Red Crescent will take a more active role in BiH. Responding to journalists’ questions, Mr. Kerem Kinik, pointed out that with this on , Turkish Red Crescent has total 12 Representation offices all around the world. Sarajevo office is second one in the Balkans region, since we have already opened one in Sofia.
BiH and Sarajevo have always been close to us. Turkish Red Crescent has been present here for a long time during natural disasters, wars, especially after the breakup of Yugoslavia, we have always been there and helped the people of BiH, "said Mr. Kinik, stressing that this time, Turkish Red Crescent is giving support for migration crisis response.
With opening a representative office in Sarajevo, this humanitarian organization will strengthen its activities in the country, emphasized Mr. Kinik.
In his addressing to participants, the President of RCSBIH Presidency, Mr. Rajko Lazić, reminded that the two sister organizations had signed a partnership agreement last year and highlighted that TRC is a very important strategic partner.
"We are from IFRC family and we are bound by the principles that distinguish us from other humanitarian organizations. However, the result of our cooperation is that we had the first convoy of aid for migrants 10 days ago and on this occasion I would like to thank our brothers from Turkish Red Crescent and the Republic of Turkey, who take care of four million migrants in their territory ", said Mr. Lazić.
He reminded that , up to now, 1 million meals have been prepared for migrants in the whole RCSBIH structure.
"I am looking forward to our cooperation and agreement that, apart from taking care of migrants, we will take a special care of our people, who still have the status of displaced persons 20 years after the war. We will also help persons in social need, "added Mr. Lazić.
Deputy Minister of Civil Affairs of BiH in the health sector, Ms. Draženka Malićbegović, said that she was honored to attend the ceremony of opening the Turkish RC Representative Office in Sarajevo today.
I am particularly pleased to see that the Representation office of TRC is opened on the occasion of 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Red Crescent. The Red Crescent and the Republic of Turkey have been providing significant support to BiH for many years, so that this is a significant help to the population, especially in the context of the refugee crisis, "said Ms.Malićbegović.
Turkish Ambassador in BiH , H.E. Haldun Koc emphasized that BiH and Turkey have been very close and have had strong ties, that are manifested through activities of numerous Turkish institutions and organizations operating in this country. The Turkish Red Crescent, as he said, is one of the organizations that has been operating for years in BiH, but until now, had not had its representation office here“.
We are sure that Turkish Red Crescent , after opening its office in Sarajevo, will work more actively in the field. As I said, they have been present here from earlier, but from now on, there with be more bigger projects. In the previous period, especially in the period of catastrophic floods in 2014, Turkey, with all its organizations, provided every possible support to flood affected people in BiH , without making any difference, "the ambassador said,
He stressed that Turkey's goal is a sustainable peace and stability in this country, and wished every success to representatives of the Turkish Red Crescent who will work in BiH.
During the opening ceremony, the participants had the opportunity to see a short video presentation on the activities of Turkish Red Crescent in the world, as well as the latest activities in BiH.
The Ceremony was also attended by the General Director of the Turkish Red Crescent, Mr. Ibrahim Altan, Secretary General of the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Branko Leko, Secretary General of the Red Cross of the Federation of BiH, Mr. Namik Hodzić, Red Crescent Coordinator in BiH, Mr. Goksen Yenigul, Deputy Head of the ICRC delegation to BiH Mr. Elmir Camić, representatives of Turkish organizations operating in BiH, numerous officials and guests.
After the opening ceremony, Mr. Kinik and his associates visited the headquarters of RCSBIH where Mr. Lazić, the president of RCSBIH and Mr. Leko, the Secretary General of RCSBIH presented the history of RCSBIH building, a national monument, after which followed by a tour of the premises and presentation of RCSBIH activities.
After the opening ceremony , representatives of Turkish Red Crescent visited Bihać next day, and reception centers with migrants / refugees, where their host was the vice-president of RCSBIH, Mr. Husein Kličić with his associates from Una Sana Red Cross and Bihać Red Cross.