The Federation of Caucasian Associations (KAFFED), Türkiye's largest Circassian association, issued a statement regarding the International Circassian Association's management of the earthquake aid that was supposed to help the victims of the major earthquake that struck Türkiye on February 6, 2023.
KAFFED expressed its concern about the lack of transparency and coordination in the delivery of the aid, indicating that they have had no involvement in the operation since the International Circassian Association decided to take over the distribution process.
The full statement released by KAFFED reads as follows:
Following the devastating earthquake that took place on February 6, 2023, the International Circassian Association expressed its desire to visit Türkiye. Their aim was to convey our homeland's condolences for the losses in Türkiye and discuss possible aids. The delegation was warmly received in Istanbul, and a visit was arranged to the earthquake-stricken region on March 9, 2023, attended by our Deputy General President, board members, and regional association presidents. We learned that the visiting delegation had been running an aid campaign in their homeland, and they requested that the aid collected through this campaign be delivered via our federation - a request we accepted without hesitation.
However, despite a considerable amount of time passing since the visit, the aid collected has yet to be transferred, and information about the collected amount has not been disclosed. Despite multiple discussions and proposed solutions, these issues remain unresolved due to various unforeseen obstacles.
In summary, if it was not desired to distribute cash, our suggestion that payments could be made to agreed companies within the scope of our federation's container campaign was rejected on the grounds that “it was asked to the Government of the Republic of Türkiye and it was said that there was no need for containers”, and it was stated that cash aid would be provided by requesting the lists of those in need be shared with them. Upon this, our associations in the region and in provinces where there are many citizens affected by the earthquake prepared the list of those in need and it was conveyed to the International Circassian Association by our federation. In subsequent discussions, on May 22, 2023, three months after the promise of aid, it was understood that no progress could be made in taking joint action despite all our initiatives due to excuses that do not comply with reason and the values of the Circassian people, such as the allegation that the aid was not allowed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov due to a panel organisation held in the European Parliament; concerns of the aid being sent to activists supporting Ukraine instead of earthquake victims, and baseless accusations and distrust towards KAFFED and our member associations.
Finally, we have learned that the International Circassian Association has unilaterally decided to conduct the distribution of the collected aid in Türkiye through their own organisation. At this stage, we would like to clarify that we have no involvement in this operation.
KAFFED - The Federation of Caucasian Associations