Türkİye, World, Russia-Ukraine War

First group of Crimean Tatars from Ukraine arrive in Turkiye

'Turkiye always supported us both during escape from exile and occupation,' says evacuee

Gokhan Zobar  | 01.03.2022 - Update : 01.03.2022
First group of Crimean Tatars from Ukraine arrive in Turkiye

EDIRNE, Turkiye 

Following the eruption of a war between Russia and Ukraine, Crimean Tatar Turks evacuated from Ukraine by land have begun to arrive in Turkiye.

As part of Turkiye's evacuation efforts carried out by the Foreign Ministry, a group of 45 Crimean Tatars including women and children entered Turkiye Tuesday through the Kapikule border crossing on the border with Bulgaria.

Suzan Mmbiyetava, an evacuee, told reporters in the northwestern Edirne province that they left Kyiv after the explosions started to hit the capital city.

She said they witnessed the Russian shelling on their way to Lviv with her husband and three children. They were later brought to safe zones with Turkiye's support, she added.

"Children and women were evacuated. They brought us to the border... We left our husbands behind but we spoke to them during our journey," Mmbiyetava said.

Hanife Kurtseyit, another evacuee, expressed her happiness to be in Turkiye.

She, who also left her husband behind, said she wanted to stay in Ukraine but had to leave the country for her children.

They arrived in Turkiye after a four-day journey via land, Kurtseyit said.

"Turkiye has always supported us both during the escape from exile and occupation. They have always been the closest to us."

Since Russia's war on Ukraine began last Thursday, it has been met with outrage from the international community, with the EU, UK and US implementing a range of economic sanctions against Russia.

Russia was further isolated after its planes were barred from flying in European and Canadian airspace, and a number of its banks were kicked out of the SWIFT international banking system.

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