This study focusses on Turkish non-governmental organizations (NGOs) carrying out humanitarian assistance abroad. Particular attention is given to their motivations, challenges and contributions to Turkish foreign policy (TFP). Being a product of a larger research project dealing with Turkish humanitarian NGOs (HNGOs), this paper’s findings are derived from a bulk of datasets consisting of interviews, observations, and other printed/on-line materials published by these humanitarian NGOs. The primary data used in the article is compiled from more than 25 semi-structured interviews with people who work for Turkish NGOs. What are the main reasons and motivations of these organizations to engage in humanitarian aid activities? What kinds of problems and challenges do they face while carrying out humanitarian aid? What do they think of TFP and to what extent do they affect TFP? If they do, in which ways? Such questions are the central questions this article seeks to address. While verifying some of them, the main findings challenge some of the conventional assumptions about Turkish NGOs and their activities, motivations, challenges and contribution to TFP.