Turkish first lady honors outstanding foundations

By Yasemin Kalyoncuoglu

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s first lady on Monday presented awards honoring Turkish foundations that have done outstanding work over the past year.

Speaking at the ceremony at the Presidential Complex, Emine Erdogan said foundations play a very special role in Turkish culture, one that must be protected as well as passed down to future generations.

“Because if the world is to be saved, it will be saved by compassion,” she added.

This year, Haluk Levent, founder of the Ahbap Association, received a 2021 Foundations Benevolence Awards award for his work on “extending a helping hand to those in need, building people up, and community services."

Mustafa Dundar, the mayor of Bursa’s Osmangazi district, also received an award for his work on restoring and reopening an animal hospital.

The hospital, Gurabahane-i Laklakan, was established in the 19th century in the Ottoman era to care and treat migratory birds, especially storks.

Another award recipient went to businessperson Unal Nafiz Hekim, who has been feeding stray animals for about 12 years with a soup kitchen he founded.

Hekim got an award for his many projects and work involving kindness and compassion.

Also attending the ceremony were Turkey’s Family and Social Services Minister Derya Yanik, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, and France's Ambassador to Ankara Herve Magro, among other guests.

*Writing by Busra Nur Cakmak