230 citizens back in Turkey as unrest continues in Yemen amid a Saudi-led military operation.
A total of 230 people, including Turkish citizens, have been brought to Istanbul from Yemen, which is gripped by an unrest that’s triggered a Saudi-led military operation, authorities said Sunday.
185 Turkish citizens were evacuated earlier in the day on a Turkish Airlines flight.
The evacuated Turkish citizens talked about their sad experiences to The Anadolu Agency after arriving at Ataturk Airport, Istanbul.
Ahmet Karagoz, teacher, described how a bomb fell near his school on his first night there.
"At night, suddenly we leapt up. The windows shook, and the doors were thrown open. (Bombing) continued for four and a half hours incessantly," said Karagoz.
He said bombing continued throughout his 9-day stay in Yemen.
Ayse Oguz said: "We could not go out at all there. We were always at home. That’s how we could be safe.”
Another citizen, Mehmet Guvercin thanked President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his efforts.
On Sunday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu -- through Twitter messages in Turkish -- also thanked all those involved in the efforts to evacuate the Turkish citizens. Cavusoglu also highlighted the fact that Turkey was not only evacuating its own citizens, but also giving a hand to nationals from other countries.
"We are not only helping our own citizens, but we are also there for others who are asking for our help," he tweeted.
Previously, the Turkish naval vessel, TCG Buyukada Frigate, had evacuated 55 Turkish citizens from the Yemeni port city of Aden and later dropped them off in Djibouti.
Turkish embassy officials later escorted the 55 Turkish citizens to the airport in Djibouti Saturday from where they boarded a Turkish Airlines' flight to Istanbul and arrived in Turkey later in the evening.
Yemen has been in turmoil since September, when the Houthi militia overran the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, where they allegedly planned to extend their influence to other parts of the country.
Several Arab states have joined the Saudi-led offensive in Yemen, which began on March 25 with a string of airstrikes on Houthi militia positions.
Recourse: Anadolu Agency, April 5, 2015