Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) will send humanitarian aid to Ukraine on Friday in response to a call for support by the Ukrainian Red Cross to assist those affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
"We are sending a humanitarian relief convoy to #Ukraine to address urgent basic needs, coordinating with Red Cross Ukraine," Kerem Kınık, the head of the charity, said on Twitter.
"Our teams are being deployed to the region with warehousing tents, family-type tents and mobile catering vehicles for evacuees and #IDPs (internally displaced people)," Kınık added.
Stating that he is concerned about a possible refugee crisis, Kınık said all humanitarian leaders should act more actively to prevent this.
"We are ready for all kinds of humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian Red Cross," said Kınık.
The humanitarian aid is aimed at providing relief supplies such as tents and mobile catering vehicles for the vulnerable who evacuated due to the conflict.
Three aid trucks will depart for Ukraine Friday.
The Turkish Red Crescent is one of the top five organizations in the world among 192 national societies in terms of budget, the number of beneficiaries and projects. As the Red Crescent is an important player in mediation and human diplomacy internationally, the aid group is now in a considerably more policy-making position in the international arena.
Turkey's three main mobile operators, Türk Telekom, Turkcell and Vodafone, announced on their social media accounts that they are providing free calling, SMS and internet for the urgent communication needs of Turkish citizens in Ukraine. They also advised them to follow the Turkish Foreign Ministry guidelines.
Defying threats of sanctions by the West, Moscow officially recognized Ukraine's regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states earlier this week, followed by the start of a military operation in Ukraine on Thursday.
Tensions started escalating late last year when Ukraine, the United States, and its allies accused Russia of massing tens of thousands of troops on the border with Ukraine.
They claimed that Russia was preparing to invade its western neighbor, allegations that Moscow consistently rejected.
Turkey condemned Moscow’s decision to invade Ukraine after it assaulted the country by land, sea and air in the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War II.
Tens of thousands of Ukrainian and Russian citizens living in Turkey continue to feel the strong effects of Moscow's decision to invade its neighbor. Worried about their relatives stuck at airports or still in the country, Ukrainians on Thursday protested the occupation in front of the Russian Consulate in Beyoğlu, Istanbul. Shouting slogans, protesters urged the Kremlin to stop the war.
A group of about 50 people gathered on Istiklal Street, where the Consulate General is located, and expressed their condemnation by shouting anti-war slogans and holding banners that read "Stop Putin." The group later issued a press release as the protesters shouted slogans.
Meanwhile, developments in the region are closely followed in other cities of Turkey, such as the resort city of Antalya, which hosts millions of vacationers from Russia and Ukraine every year. In Turkey’s tourism capital Antalya, where 29,691 Russian and 8,444 Ukrainian residents live in peace, the citizens of both countries expect the tension to end as soon as possible and peace be declared.