Turkcell, Turkey’s biggest mobile operator, and Vodafone, one of top three mobile operators active in Turkey, were honored for their humanitarian work in supporting Syrian refugees at a major sector conference late on Feb. 26.
The award came at the GSM Association’s (GSMA) Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
In addition to Turkcell and the Vodafone Foundation, Asiacell, Zain and Deutsche Telekom were awarded for their humanitarian efforts to help refugees in the same ceremony.
Receiving the award in the name of the five operators from GSMA Chairman Sunil Mittal, Turkcell CEO Kaan Terzioğlu said: “For me, it is a big honor to be here in the name of the five companies who work to make the world a better place. We should know that we are in a sector … which can make a difference in the world’s biggest tragedy. This humanitarian crisis is a very a big test for all of us.”
“We have seen again that communication has a lifesaving role in crisis terms over the previous six years,” he added, according to a follow-up press release.
The head of Turkcell stated they established services so that people affected by the crisis could receive vital information and use communications in refugee camps.
“We formed emergency services and helplines for Syrians,” Terzioğlu said, adding that they provided refugees with access to information and services with mobile applications such as Merhaba Umut (Hello Hope).
The head of Vodafone Turkey Foundation, Hasan Süel, said the foundation had undertaken a number of key mobile projects to support people fleeing from wars mainly in Syria.
The foundation now offers coding training to Syrian children who live in Turkey, he said.
“We hope to create a common language between Syrian and Turkish children as well as offering hope to them,” Süel added in a press release.