Ukrainians living in Turkey call for support amidst Russian attack

Ukrainians living in Istanbul on Feb. 25 continued their protest in front of the Russian Consulate General, calling on the Turkish public to show solidarity with them.

Duvar English

Ukrainian citizens living in Istanbul continued their protest in front of the Russian Consulate General on the second day of Russia's military operation against their country. 

Expecting solidarity from Turkish people, the protestors told Gazete Duvar that they do not want war and that Ukrainians and Russians were “fraternal peoples.”

One Ukrainian citizen who has been living in Turkey for the last 25 years said that she expects the Turkish government and the public to show solidarity. "I have been living in Turkey for 25 years; here is also my country. As a Ukrainian citizen, I have always stood by Turkey in its difficult times; and today, we also expect to see solidarity," said Aleyna, a doctor by profession. 

"These demonstrations are held by Ukrainians living in Turkey, but citizens of this country are not giving their support. We expect support from Turkey. Do not leave us in these difficult times; stand by us," she said. 

“My family is in Kharkov, we have difficulty communicating with each other as the internet access there is very bad right now. What will we do here if we never hear from our family? We can't go, air flights are closed, they can't come either. What should we do?” she said. 

“They cannot sleep in fear under the sounds of bombs at night. There are those who go down to the shelters of the schools and the subways and wait 150 meters under the ground out of fear,” she said. 

“The Russian people do not want war either. We are fraternal peoples and lived together for years under the rule of the Soviet Union. If Russia were invaded today, we would say no to war again, we would not want any people to die.” 

On Feb. 24, Russia announced a military operation against Ukraine, drawing international condemnation and vows of tougher sanctions on Moscow.

Explosions were reported in several Ukrainian provinces, including the capital Kyiv, and tanks reportedly crossed the border from Belarus into Ukraine.