The death toll from the forest fires in Turkey has risen to four as firefighters continue to battle and control the blazes that have burned down several homes and forced people to evacuate settles and beach resorts in the southern region.
Firefighters in Turkey are still trying to tackle wildfires in 20 locations in six provinces in the country’s Mediterranean and southern Aegean region while dozens of others have been brought under control.
Massive wildfires rage in 20 locations across Turkey's six provinces, while 43 fires have been brought under control – Turkey’s Agriculture and Forestry Minister pic.twitter.com/OVuowZpmYK— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) July 29, 2021
However, the Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said that it was still too early declare that the current forest fires have been brought under control but he did say that firefighters were making good progress.
The Manavgat and Akseki regions in Antalya province witnessed the worst fires as strong winds pushed the blaze towards settlements on Wednesday which resulted in the death of an 82-year-old man and a married couple while more than 50 people were hospitalized.
Meanwhile, a 25-year-old volunteer died in another fire near the resort of Marmaris about 320 kilometers west of Antalya on Thursday, raising the death toll from the forest fires in Turkey to four. According to the state-run Anadolu Agency, the man was taking drinking water to firefighters, but was involved in a motorcycle crash and died in the fire.
Wildfires erupting one after the other are not uncommon during the forest fire season when temperatures are at their highest, but the damage from the current wildfires in Turkey has been unprecedented and raised suspicions that the PKK Terrorist Group, which has been involved in similar fires in the past, might be involved.
The authorities have launched an investigation into the forest fires and Fahrettin Altun, a top aide to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “those responsible will have to account for the attacks against nature and forests.”
Milli servetimiz olan ormanlarımızdaki yangınları kontrol altına almak ve etkilenen vatandaşlarımızın yaralarını sarmak için Cumhurbaşkanımız devletimizin tüm imkanlarını seferber etmiştir. Tüm kurumlarımız sahada vatandaşlarımızın yanında çalışmalarını sürdürmektedir.— Fahrettin Altun (@fahrettinaltun) July 29, 2021