Turkish Red Crescent makes $ 8 million donation to organisation embroiled in child abuse scandal

Turkish Red Crescent, which raised eyebrows with its donation call following last week’s earthquake, has confirmed a donation of $8 million to the Ensar Foundation, a religious organisation that provides dorms and education for children previously embroiled in a major child abuse scandal.

Başkentgaz, the second largest regulated gas distribution network in Turkey, made a sizeable donation to Turkish Red Crescent in December 2017, with consent for the organisation to give the money to the Ensar Foundation, Sözcü newspaper said.

A foundation favoured by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Ensar was involved in a child abuse scandal in 2016, when a teacher working with the organisation was charged with the sexual abuse of 45 young children who had been staying in its accommodation.

Başkentgaz donated $ 7.9 million to Turkish Red Crescent with the understanding that it would transfer the money to the Ensar Foundation as part of a dormitory protocol between the two organisations, Sözcü said. 

Turkish Red Crescent issued a statement on Wednesday, confirming the donation, noting that many organisations donate to the aid foundation with stipulations on where and how they want their money to be utilised.

Başkentgaz made donations through the Red Crescent in order to receive tax exemption, Sözcü, said as all donations made to Turkey’s Red Crescent are 100 percent tax deductible.