Turkish Red Crescent head retracts statement, says there is no such thing as 'halal' and 'haram' blood
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Ahmet Lütfi Akar had announced that the Turkish Red Crescent would engage in a factory-supported production of drugs made with blood, in order to end importation from countries like Britain. Hürriyet photoThere is no such thing as halal blood, the head of the Turkish Red Crescent has said, after coming under fire over reports that his organization was planning to make drugs with Turkish blood in order to eliminate the risk of non-Islamic dietary impacts.
"At the [Turkish] Red Crescent there is no concept such as 'halal' and 'haram' blood. This has never been uttered. A distinction between 'halal' and 'haram' is out of the question," Ahmet Lütfi Akar told Anadolu Agency on July 22.
He said the main purpose of establishing a factory producing drugs based on blood, which are used in cases such as liver failure or injuries involving heavy blood loss, was to eliminate Turkey's dependency and end the costly importing of these medicines. "I don't what I have said, but there is no concept such as 'halal' and 'haram' blood, neither in the world nor here [in Turkey]. It's a marketing expression that was used about products manufactured with blood. It's like halal food. It was not about blood, it was about products containing blood," Akar said.
He had previously announced that the Red Crescent, Turkey's number one blood donor, would engage in a factory-supported production of drugs made with blood, in order to end importation from countries like Britain. Eventually, the blood could be exported to other Islamic countries, he had added.
"For instance, if we are buying medicine from Britain, it is made out of the blood and plasma of the blood of the people of that country. We have different dietary habits from those countries. Being a Muslim nation, we do not eat pork. We don't eat some of problematic foods, but these exist in the medicine that we import," Akar had told daily Hürriyet.
However, he has since said that he has been dismayed by the criticism that his statements led to. "We are rushing blood to millions of people. One vulnerability, or a few people giving up donating blood, can result in the loss of life of people waiting for blood on the operating tables. I am worried that this situation could affect blood donations," he told Anadolu Agency.
In the interview, Akar also stressed that the Red Crescent did rigorous tests before using donated bloods in patients, adding that they also kept a detailed database on which everyone could check whether their blood had been accepted or not.