A group of Russian women married to Turkish men and reside in Turkey have voiced their concern over the escalation of tensions between their homeland and Turkey and said that they would like to become means for establishing peace.
About 70 Russian women, students at a Turkish language course offered jointly by Ankara University and Antalya Russian Culture and Arts Association, take Turkish language classes four-hours a day to be able to communicate with their relatives, neighbors and help their children with their homework.
Amid the rising tensions between the two countries, the women have said that they are happy to be living in Turkey and that they are able to teach both Russian and Turkish language and cultures to their children.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Anna Doğanyılmaz, one of the students, said that she has been living in Antalya for seven years and that there are many other Russians living in Antalya.
"Our children live with us and they go to school. Our husbands are Turkish and live here. We do not want a war. We want the tensions to end and our friendships to continue," she added.
"We live here with our kids and my husband in Turkish. We learn Turkish here. We love Turkey and also Turkish," said Inna Uğur, another student at taking Turkish classes.
Irina Kiremisti, another student also voice her concern over the escalation of tensions saying, "I would like to become a reason for peace. I want peace. I have been living here for eight years. I feel like a Turk now."
Antalya Russian Culture and Arts Association President Irina Balcı said that she has been living in Turkey for eight years and that their courses have been very popular among the Russians living in Antalya. Balcı highlighted that there are many Turkish people who also speak Russian and that they have very good relations with the Turkish people in Antalya. She also added that the association is planning to organize events and festivals to promote peace between the two countries.
The official records in the beginning of 2015 revealed that in Alanya, a famous tourist destination district in southern province of Antalya, 314 women from 39 different countries have chosen Turkish men as their husbands.
In 2014, out of 314 marriages in Alanya, Turkish men tied knots with 67 brides with Russian background, followed by 56 German, and 22 Ukrainian women.
Two Turkish F-16 fighter jets on aerial patrol intercepted an unidentified warplane on Tuesday after it intruded into Turkish airspace on the Syria border.
The intruding aircraft was warned about the violation 10 times within five minutes before it was shot down.
Russia's Defense Ministry later announced that one of its SU-24s had been shot down. It crashed in the Syrian region of Bayırbucak, close to the Yayladagı district of southern Turkey.