Turkey, wildfires in Marmaris

57 wildfires under control in Turkey

At least 4 people have died and 2,300 buildings have been damaged by the wave of wildfires in Turkey, to which Greece has offered its help.

Turkey has managed to bring under control at least 57 wildfires that were active throughout the country, as announced this Friday by the Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Bekir Pakdemirli, during a press conference held in Antalya together with the Interior Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Environment and Urbanism Minister Murat Kurum.

Pakdemirli pointed out that 4,000 firefighters supported by 3 planes, 10 drones, 38 helicopters, 55 heavy vehicles and 680 pumper vehicles are currently working in the areas affected by the fires unleashed in recent days in the provinces of Mersin, Osmaniye, Adana, Antalya and Kahramanmaraş, all of them in the south of Turkey, although in the last hours fires have also been declared in the provinces of Muğla (Aegean) and in Kırıkkale and Kayseri, in the centre of the country.

Regarding the causes of the fires, although everything indicates that many of them could have been deliberate, the minister declared that the investigations are still continuing and that the conclusions will be made public once important findings are revealed, while he asked citizens not to spread rumours and unconfirmed information through social networks, where it was speculated that the PKK terrorist group – which has been responsible for arson in the past – could also be behind these wildfires.

For now and as an urgent measure for the victims, credit payments for those affected will be suspended; the minister also announced that “as of tomorrow, we will begin to make partial payments to our citizens whose damages have been determined,” said Çavuşoğlu, who also confirmed the death of four people – three in Antalya and one in Muğla – as a consequence of the wildfires.

Greece offers its help to Turkey against wildfires

In addition to helping the environmental recovery of the areas that have been burned, Pakdemirli announced that new forests will be planted to replace those that have been burned, some work that will begin in late October or early November, with the arrival of rains.

Several countries have also expressed their solidarity with Turkey, including Greece, whose foreign minister phoned his Turkish counterpart to convey his condolences for the victims – Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu was born in Antalya, where three of the deceased were from – and offer to the Turkish government all the help it might need.

The Minister of Environment and Urban Planning also reported that a total of 2,300 buildings have been damaged by wildfires in recent days in Turkey; of the 252 buildings inspected so far, 126 have been seriously damaged or destroyed. In some villages, 70% of the houses have been completely burned by flames, and the survivors – some in their early 70s – speak of something “never seen” in their lives.