Between September 22 and 26, 2023, Mr. Sebahattin Bilginç – Regional Coordinator of Yeshilai for “Marmara” region in European Turkey /for the cities Edirne; Tekirdag: Kirklareli; Çanakkale and Balkesir/, together with the members of the Sports Club of Yesilai – Edirne (Cemal Seçkin, Zekeriya Bayrak, Mehmet Fatih Bayrak, Çağrı Sinop), held a bike ride of good neighborliness and friendship to Bulgaria, covering 500 km in 5 days and 4 nights. In the city of Plovdiv, they were welcomed by the chairman of Yeshilai – Bulgaria, Mr. Ahmed Pehlivan and members of the Bulgarian branch of the International Federation of Green Crescent.
Before heading back home, the athletes were received by the Consul General of the Republic of Turkey in the city of Plovdiv, Mr. Korhan Kyungeryu.
The Green Crescent has speeded up its international organization works in the last years and has started the foundation works for national Green Crescent in many countries. Each constituted Green Crescent, becomes a member of the International Federation of Green Crescent, established by the Turkish Green Crescent in October 2016.
The aim of this federation is to gather each Green Crescent that has been established in other countries, under a new umbrella organization based in Istanbul.
Turkish Green Crescent Society was founded by patriotic people and intellectuals (Dist. Prof. Mazhar Osman and his friends) from a diverse set of backgrounds in 1920, response to the British attempts to distribute booze and drugs free of charge in Istanbul in an effort to undermine the resistance against the occupation. The founders sensed the upcoming dangers of alcohol and drug addiction that resulted decline in the resistance against the occupation. The patriotic intellectuals established the “Green Crescent”, “Hilal-i Ahdar” in Istanbul in order to warn Turkish society. The official name of the association is “Türkiye Yeşilay Cemiyeti”, “Turkish Green Crescent Society”.
The Green Crescent is a non-profit and non-governmental organization that empowers youth and adults with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions against different kind of addictions including alcohol, tobacco, drug, gambling etc. The Green Crescent was established in 1920 and given the status of Public-Beneficial Society (public beneficial society status is given to the organizations that serve for public benefits) by the Turkish government in 1934.
Core Values of the organisation:
Fight Against Addiction for the Human Dignity
The Green Crescent aims to protect public health against the risk of addiction and to ensure that human dignity is respected. In all of its activities, the Green Crescent promotes mutual understanding, brotherliness, amity, cooperation and sustainable peace among people. The Green Crescent tries to prevent and ease addiction-induced suffering, wherever they may strike, using all of the assets of its national and international capacity.
While providing services, the Green Crescent does not discriminate against people based on their nationality, race, religious belief, class or political ideology. It focuses on easing addiction-based suffering, using the most effective measures in its capacity and giving priority to the most urgent and essential needs.
The Green Crescent is an independent non-governmental organization. Assisting public authorities in humanitarian activities, the Green Crescent is subject to international agreements that have been duly put into effect by the Republic of Turkey, and to the laws of Republic of Turkey, and within this scope, the Society retains the authority to enter into relevant international agreements and to act accordingly.
Being a Charitable Foundation
The Green crescent is a volunteer-based charitable foundation that does not seek personal or corporate benefits.
Being a Public Health Entity
The Green Crescent is a volunteer-based non-governmental organization that makes use of its corporate capacity to come up with preventive programs to fight against all kinds of addictions and processes, especially those related to tobacco, alcohol and substances, and that tries to make effective use of the currently available therapies and treatment services to tackle addictions that have already taken hold.
The Green Crescent adopts an evidence-based research, analysis and intervention approach in its efforts to protect people from and prevent addictions, and to reinforce and/or modify behaviors while fighting against addictions in therapy and treatment phases.
Having equal status with the national associations of other countries engaged in the fight against addiction, and sharing responsibilities and tasks equally during mutual assistance studies, the Green Crescent’s intention is to create a global organization to fight against addictions on a global scale, to work as part of this organization in order to observe the issues on a global scale, to work globally, to function according to global standards, and to be effective and reputable.
According to the Green Crescent, being organized to raise public health awareness at all levels and in all settlements in the societies in which it serves, i.e. from the base to the representatives, and from the individuals to public institutions, and carrying out participatory studies at a public level are a requirement for sustainable success.