Ankara offers help to Ukrainians of Turkish descent who live in Donbas
Ankara welcomes Ukrainian citizens with Turkish roots who live in the conflict areas of Donbas. The government has initiated this program to help its people who suffer from military action.
This is not the first war for some of these people. Yulduz Basatova fled to Ukraine from Uzbekistan after ethnic conflicts between local citizens and Turks in 1989.
She took refuge in the Donetsk region. Now the woman is forced to move again.
Yulduz Basatova, Ukrainian refugee: "There was a massacre in Uzbekistan, we fled. Ukraine welcomed us, helped us, and now we have to run away again."
In Ukraine, Yulduz gave birth to 4 kids. Now she has 10 grandchildren. The family didn't leave their home even when the bombs were falling.
Kamila Basatova, Ukrainian refugee:"We didn't want to leave, we didn't. But Turkey is our home, our motherland. And our kids will be better off there."
Around 3000 people are expected to return to their historic homeland. These are mainly big families with grandparents and grandchildren. Turkey has built a small campus in the country's east to welcome the new arrivals. Ankara officials have also visited the conflict zone to see them through the migration procedure.
Mekhmet Aktash, Turkish Embassy to Ukraine Secretary: "These people will have preferences when they will look for a job. We will discuss the citizenship for them later, but right now we will give them permissions for residency. Our Constitution allows us to resolve this situation."
Turkey promises to support the families financially. They are allowed not to pay for their houses in the next 5 years. After that, they are expected to assimilate and become the rightful citizens of their country. Refugees say they have big hopes for the future, but they will never forget Ukraine.