To Healthier Generations

Mücahit Öztürk
Prof. Dr., President of the Turkish Green Crescent

The Turkish Green Crescent fights addiction on so many levels and creates permanent solutions thanks to its years of experience and vast knowledge accumulated over a century. Turkish Green Crescent Headquarters continues to operate through Green Crescent Consulting Centers, branches, and volunteers in every province of Türkiye and continues its activities with the determination for a good and healthy future. The Green Crescent Movement also leads the fight against addiction all over the world, together with 95 national Green Crescents.

Action to fight against addiction happens on national and international levels in Türkiye. We pursue strategies and policies to ensure the highest level of cooperation and coordination between relevant institutions. In this context, the High Council of Fighting against Addiction was established in 2019 with the Presidential circular. The Council gathers under the presidency of the Vice President of Türkiye, Fuat Oktay, and 13 relevant ministries are represented on the ministerial level. The President of the Green Crescent represents the Green Crescent on the Council.

The Green Crescent is a member of the High Council of the Fight against Addiction, Technical Board, and Provincial Boards of the Fight against Addiction within the scope of action plans. It actively participates in the working groups of stakeholder institutions, national workshops, and regional assessment meetings.

Established in 2015 to provide psychosocial support services for those who struggle with addictions, Green Crescent Counseling Centers provide services in 104 points in all provinces across Türkiye and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as of the end of 2021. The Green Crescent Counseling Centers aim to provide free psychological and social support to people with alcohol, tobacco, substance, gambling, and technology addictions, reintegrate them into life, and restore their disrupted lifestyles. Between 2016 and 2021, Green Crescent Counseling Centers received 500,000 calls via the Counseling Line (115) and provided more than 110,000 individual therapy and counseling services. In cooperation with the Turkish Employment Agency, 135 clients we helped overcome their addictions were employed.

Training Programs

The goal is to raise awareness of alcohol, tobacco, substance, and technology addictions among society, especially children and young people, and to prevent addiction by informing the target group about living a healthy life.

We implemented the Türkiye Addiction Prevention Training Program led by the Ministry of National Education with the support of many institutions and organizations, such as the Ministry of Family and Social Services, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of National Defence, Presidency of Religious Affairs, and Turkish Red Crescent. We reached 10 million students and 3 million adults each year through 42,029 practitioner school counselors who were provided with train the trainer course within the scope of the Türkiye Addiction Prevention Training Program.

The Green Crescent Life Skills Training Program aims to improve the ability of students to say “no” to addictions through activities that will enable them to maintain a life away from the risk of addiction, acquire positive habits, and protect themselves from risky environments and situations. After the train the trainer course carried out in 2021 with the participation of 160 counselors from 81 provinces, the Green Crescent Life Skills Training Program will be extended throughout Türkiye as of 2021.

The School-Based Addiction Intervention Program is Türkiye’s first and only school-based intervention program created with a secondary prevention approach for smoking, alcohol, addictive substance, and risky internet use among students. Within the scope of the School-Based Addiction Intervention Program, between 2019 and 2021, practitioner training was provided to 465 school counselors/psychological counselors working in Counselling and Research Centers and schools in 81 provinces.

We carried out awareness activities and reached millions of people through our communication campaigns with the messages “It’s Time to Quit Smoking” (Sigarayı Bırakmanın Tam Zamanı), “You Will Need That Breath” (O Nefes Sana Lazım Olacak), “Coronavirus Loves Smokers” (Koronavirüs Sigara İçeni Sever).

In 2021, there were 421,000 applications across Türkiye to the Healthy Generation Healthy Future Contest, which is held annually to encourage primary, secondary, and high school students to show their talents and raise awareness among students. In 2021, 1,088 cartoonists from 69 countries submitted 2,034 works to the International Green Crescent Cartoon Contest, which has been held since 2016 to raise public awareness of addictions using the universal language of cartoons. University students submitted 224 short films to the Healthy Ideas Short Film Contest.

The Green Crescent attaches great importance to prevention activities in the fight against addictions and continues to bring its university student volunteers together in the Young Green Crescent Camps. In some camps throughout 2021, young people were provided with training on general addiction, technology addiction, and personal development, as well as information about the projects of Green Crescent and its fields of activity.

Academic Studies

We carry out activities, such as scientific events and academic publications, intended for academics and students working in the field of addiction. We support studies on this matter and encourage new ones with our postgraduate and doctorate scholarship programs.  

In addition to the 5th International Congress of Technology Addiction held on 2-3 June 2021 and the International Congress of Addiction on 2-3 November 2021, nearly 16,000 people attended the online panels of Women and the Fight against Addictions, and Internet-Based Behavioral Addictions.

Global strategy and cooperation models were discussed towards a common goal of fighting addictions at the 2nd Assembly of Istanbul Initiative, held on 12-13 October 2021, with the participation of representatives of 28 different institutions from 21 countries. More than 100 young people aged 18-22 from 35 countries met online on 17-18 August 2021 at the second meeting of the Youth Advocacy Forum, which is the new global youth project of the Green Crescent.

The 19 member countries of the International Federation of Green Crescent have gained “Special Consultative Status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).” In the second century of its fight against addictions, Green Crescent continues to work towards a generation free of addictions in line with its goal of a good and healthy future, together with its employees, volunteers, and stakeholders at national and international platforms.

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