174 people including small children flew to Turkey. These were families who suffered from armed hostilities in the city of Slavyansk, said Mahmilya Shahmadova:
- 14 years we have lived and worked outside Slavyansk... I worked as a cook. I am both scared and pleased. I am scared to leave, but even more scared not to do it. We were told that Turkey would provide shelter, help find a job and get settled in a new place.
Among Ukrainian citizens of Turkish origin leaving for Istanbul, there are a lot of old women - people who most of all suffered from the war and devastation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
During an impromptu press conference in the airport hall, the Turkish Ambassador to Ukraine Mr. Yönet C. Tezel said:
- All our compatriots may keep the Ukrainian citizenship. They will get a residence permit in Turkey and the right to work. In addition, they can always come back to Ukraine, our government will not impede it, on the contrary, we will do our best to help them. It is necessary to remember that the Meskhetian Turks and Crimean Tatars are our brothers and allies in communicating our goals and objectives in Ukraine.
Today, December 25 two flights are to carry 347 people from the city of Kharkiv.