For the third day in a row, Turkish emergency forces are battling massive forest fires across the country.
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli said on Twitter on Saturday that ten fires are still burning, including three in Antalya, a popular tourist destination.
88 of the 98 fires that have erupted across several provinces since Wednesday have been put out.
Strong winds hampered firefighting efforts on the Turkish Mediterranean coast, where the fires were particularly severe. Many areas and hotels were evacuated, and boats were used to transport tourists to safety.
So far, six people have died as a result of the Turkey Wildfires.
The reason for this is still unknown. Turkish authorities are looking into all possibilities, including arson.
For the next few days, scorching temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) are expected along the Turkish Mediterranean and Aegean coasts.
Flames fanned by the wind spread to residential areas in Turkey’s Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, forcing residents to flee.
A high school dormitory was used to house 33 people.
Pakdemirli previously stated that 4,000 personnel, six planes, nine unmanned aerial vehicles, one unmanned helicopter, 45 helicopters, 55 heavy-duty vehicles, and 1,080 water tenders are all part of the effort to put out the fires.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum, and Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailolu had joined Pakdemirli earlier in the day for a press conference to discuss the forest fires.
Forest fires broke out in the southern provinces of Mersin, Osmaniye, Adana, Antalya, and Kahramanmaraş on Wednesday. In the southwestern province of Mula, as well as the central provinces of Krkkale and Kayseri, blazes erupted.
Pakdemirli said there was “minor damage” in the resort town of Marmaris as a result of the fires in Mula.
“It does not pose a threat to the settlements,” he explained, “but there is a fire moving towards the sea.”
Official investigations into the causes of the fires are still underway, according to the minister.
“Judicial and law enforcement authorities are continuing their investigation into the causes of the fires,” he said, adding that “a statement will be issued once significant findings are discovered.”
Pakdemirli warned the public against relying on uncorroborated information from nonofficial sources, citing widespread speculation on social media.
Loan repayments for those injured will be postponed as a measure to ease the financial burden of the victims of the fires, he said.
After the fires have been extinguished, new trees will be planted to replace those that have been charred, helping to heal the environment. The work is expected to begin at the end of October or early November, according to Pakdemirli.
Work on damage assessment
Efforts to put out the fires are still underway in the area, as are damage assessments, according to avuşolu.
“We will begin partial payments to our citizens whose damages have been determined as of tomorrow,” said the foreign minister.
“We wish Allah’s mercy on three of our citizens who died in Antalya and one in Mugla,” avuşolu added.
He stressed that the transfer of 23.5 million Turkish liras (approximately $2.8 million) from various institutions and ministries for emergency needs in Manavgat, Antalya, had begun.
The teams discovered 42 neighbourhoods affected by the flames, according to avuşolu. He went on to say that 27 neighbourhoods had been evacuated and that the Manavgat fires had affected 15 of them in some way.
He also stated that a coordination centre for the needs of people in all of these neighbourhoods has been established within the provincial governor’s office.
Meanwhile, the Antalya Governorship announced that between July 30 and August 31, all citizens except the authorities are prohibited from entering any forested lands in the city.
# Turkey Wildfires # Turkey battles wildfires
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