A retired schoolteacher in the southern Turkish province of Adana is hosting 10 Ukrainians who have fled their country amid the Russian war, Anadolu News Agency reports.
Mehmet Elibal, a Turkish-origin Ukrainian living in the Konotop city, near the Russian border, contacted Turkish authorities and waited for the humanitarian corridor to open, as he desperately wanted to return to Turkiye.
Later, he told his mother, Miyase Tanik, about his Ukrainian friends and neighbours who could not flee the war-torn country because they did not have anywhere to go.
His mother responded to his son’s request by opening her doors to war victims, happily agreeing to accommodate all of them.
Following the opening of the humanitarian corridor, Elibal arrived in Adana with 10 Ukrainians, including six children, after an arduous five-day journey.
She is now trying to provide the best possible care for them.
‘I am happy to host them’
Tanik told Anadolu Agency that her son, Elibal, had been in Ukraine since 2009, married, and divorced.
She was concerned for her son following the Russian attacks and said she was trying to get him to return to Turkiye as soon as possible.
“I am hosting 11 people, including my son, in my house now. There are four women and six children,” she said, adding that “I am pleased to welcome them as long as I can make them comfortable here until the war is over.”
“I hope this war ends soon,” she remarked optimistically.
“Until the war ends, I will do my best to host them in my home,” she added.
Meanwhile, Elibal stated that his mother welcomed his guests into her home without hesitation.
“The people that accompanied me had nowhere to move to Europe … I knew these people and brought them here because they didn’t have anywhere else to go. We will house them at our Adana home until the war is over,” he pledged.
Ukrainians want end of war
Natalia Preyatko, one of the Ukrainians who arrived in Adana with her daughter Maria, said she had no choice but to flee her homeland, leaving behind her husband and relatives.
Preyatko, 42, expressed her desire while explaining the dire situation in her country, “I’d like for this situation to be over as soon as possible. I wish for a peaceful Ukraine.”
Another displaced Ukrainian, Tatiana Yaromko, stated that most of the country was targeted, and added: “They (Russian forces) are blowing up homes, hospitals and delivery rooms. It’s a terrifying environment.”
“Many thanks to the Republic of Turkiye,” she said, citing Ankara’s role in creating humanitarian corridors for refugees fleeing Russia’s shelling and the bombing of Ukraine.
“I want this war to end as soon as possible,” Nikita Artyukh, 16, said.