Turkey Tormented by Raging Wildfires

Business | August 1, 2021, Sunday // 14:20
Bulgaria: Turkey Tormented by Raging Wildfires

A number of wildfires are still blazing in Turkey but more than 100 have been brought under control, according to officials Sunday.

The Minister of Forestry and Agriculture, Bekir Pakdemirli, tweeted that five fires were continuing in the tourist destinations of Antalya and Mugla but that 107 others had now been subdued.

The fires in Antalya were burning in the Manavgat and Gundogmus districts. In Mugla, they have hit Marmaris, Koycegiz, and Milas.

 Police water cannons usually used to control riots, assisted helicopters and firetrucks in Mugla in fighting the fires.

griculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said 107 of 112 forest fires were now under control, but blazes continued in the holiday regions of Antalya and Mugla.

Temperatures are set to remain high in the region after record levels last month.

The general directorate of meteorology registered a temperature of 49.1 degrees Celsius (120.3 Fahrenheit) on July 20 in the southeastern town of Cizre.

The mercury is expected to reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in Antalya Monday.

Turkey’s defence ministry released satellite images showing the extent of the damage with forest areas turned black and smoke still visible.

The opposition attacked President Recep Tayyip Erdogan late Saturday after a video showed the leader throwing tea to residents in fire-affected areas.

In another video, he is throwing tea to people on the side of the road from a bus.

“Tea! It’s unbelievable. Those who lose their shame, lose their heart too,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) spokesman Faik Oztrak tweeted.

The government has also been criticized over the lack of firefighting planes, with Turkey forced to accept help from Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia and Ukraine.

Experts warn climate change will wreak further damage in Turkey, causing more wildfires if necessary measures to tackle the problem are not taken.

According to European Union figures, Turkey has been hit by 133 wildfires in 2021 so far compared to an average of 43 by this point in the year between 2008 and 2020.

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Tags: evacuations, wildfires, turkey
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