War children to unite with parents in ‘Istanbul corridor’

After extending efforts for establishing a "grain corridor" and for the exchange of prisoners, Türkiye will be taking on a new task in the Ukraine War by becoming a "unity corridor" for the war children to unite with their parents.

"The sides of the war have decided to meet in Istanbul," said Türkiye's Ombudsman Şeref Malkoç, who is in charge of the process that started with a demand by UNICEF.

Last month, the U.N. body for children asked Türkiye to be a mediator and Malkoç took the initiative to meet the ombudsmen of Russia and Ukraine.

The three ombudsmen agreed in principle to meet in Istanbul to talk about the process and the international agreement, which will unite the unchaperoned children with their parents or relatives who have fled Ukraine.

"There are tens of thousands of unchaperoned children in Luhansk and Donetsk. Parents of some have died or moved to other locations," Malkoç said.

"As our relations with the Russian and Ukrainian ombudsmen are good, UNICEF asked us if we could hold a work to unite the children with their loved ones," he added.

The meetings ended in positive ways and three ombudsmen agreed to come together in Istanbul.

The Turkish ombudsman highlighted that the Presidency and the Foreign Ministry were informed about every step of the meetings.
When asked if the war sides had any requests, Malkoç pointed out the Russian side.

"The Russian ombudsman called and said they accept to attend the Istanbul meeting under one condition," he said and added: "Luhansk and Donetsk have their own ombudsmen. The Russians asked us if they could participate in the meeting, too."

Just after this call, Malkoç got in contact with the Ukrainian side to inform them about the demand.


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