Over 20,000 Ukrainian citizens were evacuated to Turkey amid Russia’s invasion of the country, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said Sunday, adding that Turkey is more than happy to welcome them.
Speaking at an event in the capital Ankara, Soylu criticized European countries for failing to make independent decisions.
He noted that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has highlighted the idea that the world is bigger than five and that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has clearly demonstrated the truth regarding his statement.
“Where is your security council? Go ahead and solve this problem,” Soylu said.
He noted that some 1.5 million Ukrainians have left their country since the start of the war and Turkey has welcomed over 20,000.
“We do not discriminate against any race, regardless if they have blonde hair and blue eyes. We are Muslim and we embrace victims wherever they come from,” he said.
Meanwhile, Turkey has also evacuated at least 11,800 citizens from Ukraine. A further 204 Turkish people left Ukraine on Sunday, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Twitter. “Works for the safe evacuation of our citizens continue,” he added.
The U.N. says 1.5 million people have now fled the war, the fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II.