Turkey expects to evacuate citizens from Ukraine's Mariupol soon
Turkiye is expecting the evacuation of Turkish nationals from the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol on March 15 or 16, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said.
Duvar English - Reuters
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on March 15 that Turkey is expecting the evacuation of Turkish nationals from the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol "today or tomorrow." Çavuşoğlu's comments came after he held a phone call with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
"The conditions for the evacuation of our citizens from Mariupol are emerging. We expect good news today or tomorrow," Çavuşoğlu said during a press conference in Ankara.
He added that 14,800 Turkish citizens had been evacuated from Ukraine so far amid Russia's invasion, and that Turkish officials held a meeting with Ukrainian negotiators on March 14.
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry said on March 12 that Russian forces had shelled the Sultan Suleiman Mosque in Mariupol, where more than 80 adults and children, including Turks, have taken refuge.
Earlier on March 15, Turkish Defence Ministry sources said Ankara was awaiting approval from Russian authorities for the Mariupol evacuation, pending a security evaluation.
The sources said landmines in the area had been cleared, and work is continuing to open humanitarian corridors and for buses to enter the city.
Moscow has denied targeting civilian areas in what it calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine.