Turkish Government Charity Organization Operates In Regions Of Syria Controlled By Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham

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June 2, 2020

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On May 30, 2020, an event honoring fighters wounded in battles against the Syrian regime and its allies was held in the city of Idlib, Syria, which is controlled by Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS). The event, titled "My Steadfastness Has No Limits" and featuring the distribution of monetary grants to disabled fighters, was organized by the Turkish government-affiliated Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı (TDV) charity organization. It was extensively covered by the pro-rebel media, including the HTS news agency.[1]


Photos from the event published by the HTS news agency Ebaa.

On its website, TDV bills itself as having been "founded to support the activities of the [Turkish] Ministry of Religious Affairs, to help religious services reach more people, and for the raising of a generation employed in religious service," and states that it operates in 149 countries.[2]


The organization's logo

TDV operates in northern Syria, both in regions where Turkey implemented its Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations that are now essentially under Turkish control, and in HTS-controlled areas. For example, on September 25, 2019, it was reported that the organization had, in conjunction with the Pakistan-based Bayt Al-Salam charity organization, erected 100 homes in Idlib province for families of orphans, the disabled, and slain fighters.[3]

As in the instance of the activity for the disabled fighters, it appears that TDV's activity in HTS-controlled areas is carried out with the approval of HTS, or at least with its knowledge of it. While previously there was a dispute between TDV and HTS over the administration of two refugee camps in HTS-controlled territory in Idlib, it was resolved that TDV would bring about the HTS-controlled Syrian Salvation Government's (SSG) approval of the appointments for the administration of both camps.[4]

Thus, the TDV joins the ranks of Turkish charity organizations cooperating with HTS.[5]

 

[1]  Telegram, May 31, 2020.

[2] Tdv.org/tr-TR/kurumsal, accessed June 1, 2020.

[3] Enabbaladi.net, September 25, 2019.

[4] Arabstoday.net, November 22, 2018.

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