On August 14, Facebook user Μαίρη Ορθόδοξη published a post about Ukrainian orphans in the Russian-language Facebook group ЗА ПУТИНА – ЗА РОССИЮ [For Putin – For Russia]. According to the description, Ukrainian orphans from the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine were secretly taken to Turkey, while their relatives were not allowed to see them or bring them home. The post is accompanied by a photo, address and video of one of the hotels in Turkey. The author asks members of a group on vacation in Turkey to come to the hotel and bring fruits and sweets to the orphans there.
The claim that Ukrainian orphans were secretly transferred to Turkey and their relatives are not allowed to see them is false. In fact, the evacuation of children from Ukraine to Turkey is taking place within the scope of the Childhood Without War research project, while parents and guardians are staying with the children in different hotels in Turkey.
The author of the post points to Larissa Beach Club, one of the hotels in the city of Manavgat, Antalya Province, Turkey, as the residential location of the Ukrainian orphans. The mentioned hotel is indeed located at this address.
“Myth Detector” contacted Larissa Beach Club. According to the hotel administration, Ukrainian children have been staying with them since April, although noting that the hotel’s refugee teachers and parents also take refuge with them. Currently, 1,600 Ukrainian refugees live in the hotel, about 1,000 are children, and 500 are their teachers, parents and caregivers. The representative of Larrisa Hotels also explained to “Myth Detector” that the refugees are distributed in 2 hotels, and they can stay in the hotels until martial law is cancelled in Ukraine.
Larissa Beach Club also stressed that the hotels accepted Ukrainian refugees within the framework of the “Childhood Without War” charity project.
The project’s official website notes that war causes special damage to children, especially those who live in orphanages. The project ensures the transfer of these children to Turkey and their safe placement there. Beneficiaries of the project are:
- Children deprived of parental care
- Children in difficult life circumstances
- As well as accompanying persons/guardians/custodians and their own children.
According to the data published on the website, 1427 children and 664 parents/guardians have been transferred from Ukraine to Turkey.
The Embassy of Ukraine in Turkey and the Consulate of Ukraine in Antalya actively participate in the successful implementation of the project. Diplomatic missions work with local authorities and communities to accommodate and meet the needs of children and accompanying persons.
The project is financed by various charitable foundations and private companies.
According to the project’s Instagram account, Ukrainian children in Turkey are involved in various recreational and educational activities.
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