Turkey, Hatay fires

Turkey to reforest forests burned by Hatay fires

A group linked to PKK, the ‘Children of Fire’, has claimed responsibility for the fires in Turkey, which forced hundreds of people to evacuate.

Not a single square meter of the forests burned by the fires that suffered last week the province of Hatay, in southern Turkey, and on which the government is investigating whether the PKK terrorist group could be behind, will be used for any purpose other than reforestation, said the country’s Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Bekir Pakdemirli.

In remarks made on Tuesday, the minister announced that the areas affected by the fires in the Samandağ and Belen districts of Hatay province will soon be reforested with 5 million new tree seedlings, while calling on citizens to participate in the public initiative “Breathe in the future” to replant hundreds of hectares and thus fight against desertification and climate change.

At least four people have been arrested in the recent fires in Hatay province, bordering northwestern Syria, which forced the evacuation of hundreds of people after spreading near residential areas, and of which there are clear indications of having been provoked. According to some Turkish media, a group linked to the PKK calling itself “Children of Fire” – which last year was already responsible for causing some 30 fires throughout the country – would be behind these fires.