Posted 16 января 10:05

Published 16 января 10:05

Modified 16 января 10:48

Updated 16 января 10:48

Turkey-the lifesaver: how does this country help Russians in difficult times

16 января 2023, 10:05
For Russian citizens, Turkey, like a hundred years ago, is becoming the main place where you can hide from your "native state" for at least a short time.

Ivan Zubov

As Novye Izvestia has repeatedly written, the mass emigration of Russian citizens abroad – according to some estimates, about a million people!

- touched mainly on countries with visa-free entry. The undoubted leader among them is Turkey, which is still loyal to our compatriots and is ready to grant them asylum – a residence permit or permanent residence - on quite acceptable terms – when buying or even renting real estate.  

We have already gathered our own small community

Therefore, it is no wonder that Russians actively share their experience on social networks.

For example, Russian pensioner Yelena S. writes:

Friends, considering my age - 60 years, I was asked to tell how I ended up in Turkey, after the famous events. To be honest, I don't see anything special about it. But if someone inspires - I will be glad.

I realized that I'm not taking out the fumes. For a couple of months, gritting her teeth, she put things in order, sold unnecessary things, found tenants for an apartment. I am self-employed, clients are used to seeing me out of necessity, I told everyone that while I am leaving for a couple of months for the summer and I will work remotely (I need to be taught gradually). Notarized the docks, gathered resources. I realized that many things are so unimportant. 

All this time I was remembering places where I had been, trying to find my place of strength. I understood that Europe was closing. I was thinking about Serbia, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey. I realized that Turkey is a big transport hub, cheap tickets to other countries, which is important for me. I spend money on trips, not on rags. I sat in the cart and collected information, contacted the locals in chats. I have raised acquaintances, even casual ones, in countries of interest to me. I remembered that five years ago I spent New Year's holidays in a small town in northern Turkey. I thought that even in summer there would be no heat, these are the foothills, but the Marmara Sea is not far - 30 min bus.

In May, she left, rented a hotel. Then I found people from local chats. I rented an apartment (20 thousand rubles), opened an account, got a residence permit. When my friends asked me where to "go", I told them about my place. This turned out to be a small community of 7 people who have known each other for a long time. This is very important, because sometimes the question arises, why, if everything was at home... Now I work remotely, clients have been preserved, expenses are small, I transfer funds through the "Golden Crown", I walk a lot, I learn the language. That's probably all. Maybe my experience will be useful to someone. Yes, I must say that Turkey continues to give a residence permit to Russian pensioners, and there are a lot of refusals to young guys..."

The meeting place cannot be changed

However, Turkey attracts not only those who want to escape, this country remains almost the main holiday destination.

During the past New Year holidays, according to eyewitnesses, Russian speech was heard on the streets of Istanbul almost more often than Turkish. This was especially true of museums and shopping malls. And if we recall the numerous Turkish resorts, which are unlikely to be compared with Russian, numerous historical attractions, then it is hardly surprising that Turkey has become even more important for today's Russians than it was during the first emigration 100 years ago.

Here is another example described on social networks. Blogger Ivan V., who fled to Istanbul six months ago from possible mobilization, described his chance meeting on the street with two Siberian pensioners:

"We started talking, I showed them how to find this cafe, and asked why they go there when there are cheaper and tastier places nearby. And they answer: my son and I are meeting there. He lives in Prague. He left to study eight years ago, graduated from university, found a job, and will not return to Russia... But now we can't come to him either – no one will give us a Schengen visa, and the Czech Republic even more so. But we used to fly to him twice a year, how wonderful it was! And there was no Russophobia there! Czechs remember both good and evil very well. They know how to distinguish. They are, say, still grateful to the Russians for the victory over fascism, but in the same way I cannot remember 1968 without rage, when the USSR crushed Prague with tanks… But they don't confuse one with the other. And now we have destroyed everything ourselves with our own hands, and God knows how many decades we will solve it! They made us hate ourselves. And we hate them for it, too. When they passed through the border in their city, they asked: where to? – to Istanbul, we say. – So the border guard with such hatred threw our passports back to us…

With my son, it turned out funny – it was not possible to settle in one hotel, everything is occupied. We called on Skype when we bought the tickets. However, now the connection has become terrible. But all the same, we managed to walk along the map together, poke into this cafe, agree there today at exactly 12 o'clock. He's used to getting up late in our opinion, they have a five-hour difference with us in the Czech Republic. And we are early birds…

Thanks to Istanbul, thanks to Turkey for being able to meet with my son!.."