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Turkish Charity to Provide Iftar for Refugees

SAKARYA, Turkey – A Turkish NGO has outlined its plan to offer free meals and supplies to refugees during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, extending their aid projects in 135 countries.

The plan was revealed by Mustafa Tutkun, head of the Turkish Diyanet Foundation (TDV), who said the group will provide refugees in Turkey with iftar meals during Ramadan, Anadolu Agency reported on Wednesday, May 25.

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Tutkun added that the TDV has long-term aid projects in 135 countries without any discrimination on the basis of religion, language, ethnicity, or gender.

Through its “Time to Help Syria” campaign launched in late 2012, the foundation aims to ease the woes of the war-torn country, he said.

“The total charitable giving in the campaign is 13,500 Turkish liras, and we are trying to find permanent solutions with sustainable projects,” he added.

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The group has also set up a refugee camp with more than 1,000 tents in Azaz in Syria’s northwestern Aleppo province, Tutkun said, supplying families with cooking supplies and beds.

“The TDV has also delivered humanitarian aid, blankets, and other materials to the area,” Tutkun said, adding,

“The TDV has been delivering 40,000 daily meals for 4,000 families in this camp.”

Turkey adopted an open-door policy towards Syrian refugees in 2011, opening its borders to people fleeing the civil war, and now hosts around 3 million refugees.

Along with Syrian refugees, the group is leading another project to provide aid to 33 Uighur families living in Istanbul since November 2014.

“The TDV has been paying the rents of 33 Uyghur families, which rose to 45 last August. We are also planning to hand out iftar meals during Ramadan,” he explained.

Tutkun said the group has also supplied 2.7 million Turkish liras in aid to Muslims living in Rakhine, Myanmar.

“The TDV plans to hand out 8,050 packages of humanitarian aid and to provide iftar meals to 14,500 people in Rakhine,” he added.

Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, kicks-off on June 6.

In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.

Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to become closer to Allah through prayer, self-restraint and good deeds.

It is customary for Muslims to spend part of the days during Ramadan studying the Noble Qur’an.

Many men perform i`tikaf (spiritual retreat), spending the last 10 days of the month exclusively in the mosque.