Tens of thousands of Ukrainian and Russian citizens living in Turkey has felt the effects strongly of that of Moscow decision to invade son neighbor, leaving many people stranded in airports or who want to hear from their loved ones.
In Istanbul, Ukrainian citizens arrived in in front of the Russian Consulate in the Beyoglu district on Thursday to protest the invasion shouting slogans and urging the Kremlin to stop the war.
A group of around 50 people reunited on Istiklal Street, where the consulate is located general lies, showing their reactions by shouting anti-war slogans and holding up signs on which on could read “Stop Putin”. the group then issued a press release as protesters continued to shout slogans.
Speaking on on behalf of of the groupTatyana Özyıldız said: “Today at 4 a.m. Russia started to attack our homeland, Ukraine. Our sleeping citizens have been slaughtered with rockets, tanks and helicopters. We came here to stop the war. The third world the war has begun. Putin attacks, Putin is killing. Why is everyone silent?
“We are gathered here to support Ukraine. Sometimes their phones work, but we can barely communicate with those there. A few cities have been hit. It is very difficult to hear from there. We think many people dead, because they started hitting the sleeping towns at night,” she said. in comments made by Ukrainians living in the center city of Konya also react to the invasion. Members of the Association of Ukrainians of Konya held a press conference which began with singing of Ukrainian national anthem, with some members obviously struggling hold back their tears.
The president of the association, Alina Göçer, said in a statement: “We are Ukrainians living in Konya. Today we have come together to support our own country. We hold the flag of Ukraine in our hands. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced one new vague of the assault has begun against Ukraine. The goal of the Russian offensive military the operation consists of destroy the Ukrainian state, seize power and establish occupancy control of Ukrainian territory. Russian troops have been attacking peaceful Ukrainian towns for various directions, including northeast region, as well as the previously occupied and still occupied Donbass and Crimea. This is an act of war, a attack on The territorial integrity of Ukraine, its sovereignty. Against this terrible attack, Ukraine exercised son law of self-defense in compliance with international law. Ukraine calls on the international community to act immediately. Only united and determined steps will repel the aggression of Vladimir Putin against Ukraine. The reactions and decisions we do will determine not only the security of Ukrainian citizens, but also Security of European citizens and future of world command,” she said.
“Turkey is still with us. We live in Turkey, but our mothers, fathers, children, nephews, grandfathers, grandmothers are all in Ukraine. The situation is badso on asks a lot so that there is no provocation. For the group world see, Ukraine wants live on his own land,” she said.
Göçer, citing information obtained from family members in Ukraine, said: “Everyone was left without water or electricity. Communication was difficult. Everyone went to the basement of Their houses. Schools were closed. The sirens sounded constantly. Tanks and warplanes were seen. They were bombing the airport and military arsenals. »
Many Ukrainian citizens in Turkey is also trying to get their families out of Ukraine and bring them to Turkey. Dozens of people flocked to the Consulate General of Ukraine in The Bakırköy district of Istanbul to transport out the relevant procedures and follow evolutions.
Say she wanna bring it family from Ukraine to Turkey, Elena Ileri said: “I am very scared. We saw tanks eight years ago, we know this fear. The doors are closed now. people spent the night in their basement. everyone is afraid car they can attack civilians too. I try to take my family from there, but I know,” she says.
Liyudmlya Saatçioğlu, on on the other hand, said she was worried for son children. “Everyone is devastated. We want to get our children out of there, but we don’t know how catch them out. the children heard an explosion in the morning. Our children received a message saying “stay at home.’ They can’t leave the house. We spoke to our relatives, they are in a difficult situation,” she said.
many stranded in airports
After the cancellation of some flights due to the invasion and several countries shut down airlines, Ukrainian, Russian, Belarusian and Moldovan passengers continue to wait at airports in Istanbul.
Passengers Arriving at Istanbul and Sabiha Gökçen Airports in in the morning learned that their flights were cancelled. Those who wanted To get to Ukraine, cities in southern Russia such as Rostov, Krasnodar and Perm, the Belarusian capital Minsk and the Moldovan capital Chisinau had to wait at airports.
Turkish Airlines (THY) and Pegasus sent their remaining passengers to hotels. Two airlines announced that they give their passengers the right to reimbursement and free changes Due to events. Passengers who tickets purchased from some foreign airlines continue to wait at airports.
Ruslan Lomovytsky, one of Ukrainian passengers, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that he was traveling back for Kyiv of holiday with his family in Sri Lanka via Istanbul.
Explaining that they had to stay at Istanbul airport due to flight cancellations, Lomovytskyi said: “Russia attacked our country. That’s why we stayed here. We are trying to change tickets and go to Poland. for Kyiv from there if we can find a train or a bus.
At news of his relatives back homeLomovytskyi said: “The situation is normal for now there is no panic. The situation was very bad in the morning. The war was very bad. I lived in Kyiv for seven years. I was born in a city near the Donbass. We moved to Kyiv due to Russian attacks. The war has begun again and now also spread to Kyiv,” he said.
Another passenger, Yelyzaveta Lomovytska, said many people left Kyiv and that there was an atmosphere of panic in the country in the morning. “When I called my relatives at 5 a.m. in in the morning, the situation was not calm. We want everything to calm down down and getting back to normal is our hope,” she said.
Anna Shcherbakova, one of Russian passengers who reserved tickets on a foreign airline, said she had come to Turkey with son mother and grand-mother as tourists.
“Airspace of Ukraine and Russia are closed. We stayed here because of this. We have problems car our flight was cancelled. We are hungry, we need the water. We have children with us. We came here for vacation with my mother and grand-mother. It was that of my grand-mother first international flight. We’re here now and we don’t know what to do. We hope the Russian government going to do something for us so that we can return to our country. We don’t want stay here. We tried to get information from the airline representative but could not get any information. Please help Russian tourists like us to return home.”
Expats in Antalya wish for calm
Meanwhile in The tourism capital of Turkey, Antalya, where 29,691 Russian residents and 8,444 Ukrainian residents live in peace, citizens of both countries expect the tension to cease soon like possible and peace be declared.
Developments in the region are closely monitored in the station city of Antalya, which hosts millions of vacationers from Russia and Ukraine each year.
Antalya hosted more over 3.5 millions Russian tourists and 1.26 million Ukrainian tourists last year. Citizens of both countries living in the city contribute to the country economy as well as vacationers. The majority of Resident Russians and Ukrainians work in the tourism sector in the city.
Darya Yıldız, one of Ukrainian residents of the citycame from Kharkiv, which is half one hour from the Russian border, for work in Antalia. Have married a Turk in the cityYıldız said she was worried about her family. “I used to make a video call with my family everyday. However, these days I call them three-four times one day. I’m very nervous and wondering about the situation. My husband offered to bring my family in Turkey. As Russians and Ukrainians, we are scholarship holders. There’s no problem between us. In Turkey I am safe but I think of Ukraine.”
Oksana Stetsura is another resident who came to Antalya from Ukraine to work. Stetsura, who married a Turk year there is is also following the crisis with worry. explaining that she is in constant contact with son familyStetsura said, “My family says there is not so much panic in Ukraine. But if something bad arriveI will bring my family here.” Stetsura added that there are Russians among her colleagues but they did not know problems between them to this day.
Kristina Güngör is a Russian who came from the capital Moscow to Antalya. Portion in the tourism sector in the cityelle said that she had started a new life here. “My father Lives in Russia and is constantly monitoring developments. He feels down. Everyone is in panic and no one wants war.”
Turkish tourism professionals, on on the other hand, fear that the holiday plans of Russians and Ukrainians who are the locomotive nations of Turkish tourism will be delayed if the tension continues. Start of season with new hope that every year after the Russian plane crisis in 2019, Turkish professionals went through the coronavirus process with the safe tourism certificate, which implements effective measures at airports, accommodation and beaches to curb the spread of disease. Tourism Facility Managers, who said the industry would be negatively affected if it encountered such a crisis as it prepared for the 2022 season, are in talks with to visit operators and agencies in Russia and Ukraine.