Meskhetian Turks in E. Ukraine call on Turkey for help

Meskhetian Turks stuck in the middle of clashes in eastern Ukraine need to be brought to Turkey as soon as possible, the World Union of Ahiskan Turks said.

Meskhetian Turks in E. Ukraine call on Turkey for help

World Bulletin/News Desk

The World Union of Ahiskan Turks (DATUB) called on the Turkish government to bring the Meskhetian Turks, also knwon as Ahiska Turks, which finds itself stuck in the middle of clashes in eastern Ukraine, to Turkey immediately. 

"Fortunately, none of ours was wounded or killed there so far, Burhan Ozkosar, Deputy Chairman of the World Union of Ahiskan Turks told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Friday. But the damage is big. Three of our houses were demolished by mortal shells." 

According to Ozkosar, there are around 500 Meskhetian Turks remaining in eastern Ukraine, who "need to be brought to Turkey immediately" on refugee status. 

"They are waiting for what will happen to them there helplessly, he said. Some of them want to migrate to Ahiska region [in Georgia]. But a majority of them are asking Turkey to accept them as refugees." 

On Thursday, at least 700 people from the Turkish-speaking minority in eastern Ukraine were forced to abandon their homes after being persecuted by pro-Russian separatists and Kiev supporters, according to a community representative Nebican Basatov.

Meskhetian Turks are originally from a part of southern Georgia close to Turkey's border. 

Expelled by Joseph Stalin from their homeland in 1944, they faced discrimination and human rights abuses before and after deportation. Those who migrated to Ukraine in 1990 settled in shanty towns inhabited by seasonal workers.

Tensions remain high in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists are clashing with government forces. 

Ukrainian pro-European business tycoon Petro Poroshenko, elected with more than 54 percent of the vote in last week's presidential elections, vowed to rein in the pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.

Last Mod: 31 Mayıs 2014, 13:48
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