Victory Day commemorated in Heybeliada
Nationals of former Soviet Union republics living in Istanbul commemorated the surrender of Nazis in 1945 singing songs and anthems on May 5.
Ferries carried several hundreds of people to Heybeliada, the second largest of the Prince Islands, from terminal ports in Istanbul’s districts of Eminönü, Kadıköy and Bostancı for the event organized by the Russian Consulate to celebrate the end of the Second World War.
Some locals joined the crowd marching to the monument built in memory of the Russian soldiers taken captive and brought to the island in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. They carried pictures of their ancestors killed during the Second World War and the flags of ex-Soviet countries of Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Belarus and Ukraine.
Singing songs and anthems, the crowd placed a wreath on the monument and enjoyed the day in the nearby picnic area.
“May 9 is our Victory Day. It is celebrated in Russia and former Soviet republics. Our nationals and citizens living in Istanbul organized this ceremony to commemorate their grandparents, their heroes,” Russian Deputy Consul General in Istanbul Dmitry Evdokimov told İhlas News Agency.
“The Soviet Union was dissolved but our victory in the Second World War remains. Our fathers, grandfathers, mothers, grandmothers did a great deal. They won a great victory against fascism not only for us but for the whole world,” he added.
Venera Yakupova, a national of Tatarstan living in Istanbul for 10 years, carried pictures of her grandfathers killed during battles in Berlin and the Baltic Sea against the Nazis.
“Many nations were involved in the war. I wish peace for every country. As my grandfathers said, the most valuable wealth is health and peace,” she said.
Russian musician Natalia Genus Yeniay also attended the event and sang songs in commemoration of those who lost their lives in the Second World War.
“It is very appealing to sing here. I get very emotional singing those songs,” she said.