Turkey wildfires: Eight dead as blazes sweep through tourist resorts

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BBC News 02 August, 2021 - 07:08am 41 views

Where are the turkey fires?

The fires, in areas around the southern city of Antalya and parts of Turkey's Turquoise Coast, have killed eight people so far, razed farms and miles of pine forest, and forced evacuations from villages, towns and resorts at the peak of the tourist season. Rescuers raced to save animals as livestock were burned alive. The Washington PostTurkish wildfires burn out of control as local officials plead for help

Turkey's southern resort area is now battling big wildfires as well as COVID-19

The Week Magazine 02 August, 2021 - 07:11am

Italy is fighting wildfires in Sicily and Greece is battling fires in the west of the country, but neither country is facing the conflagrations that have swept along Turkey's southern coast since last Wednesday. At least eight people have died in Turkey due to the wildfires, including two in the town of Manavgat on Sunday, according to Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. Five other people in Manavgat and one person in Marmaris have also died in recent days. 

Authorities say more than 100 fires have erupted in Turkey in the past six days and most of them have been contained. Russia, Ukraine, Iran, and Azerbaijan have deployed teams to help Turkish firefighters and volunteers battle the blazes, and the European Union said Sunday it has helped mobilize three fire-fighting planes to fight the fires on Turkey's coast. The wildfires prompted boat evacuations in the popular resort town of Bodrum on Sunday in conditions Mayor Ahmet Aras described as "hell." 

Bodrum and other vacation areas on Turkey's southwestern coast were struggling with a sharp drop in tourism from the COVID-19 pandemic before the fires broke out last week. "We closed the last tourism season down 75 percent," Aras had said in late June. "We expect a recovery from July with the start of flights from Russia and Europe." Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in June that, "God willing, we will jump-start tourism and have a tourist push." Tourism did jump dramatically in July, but so did COVID-19 cases.

The damage from the wildfires and spread of the Delta variant are expected to hit Turkey's tourism sector just as it was rebounding, but the damage extends much further. "The animals are on fire," Muzeyyan Kacar, a 56-year-old farmer in the village of Kacarlar, told CNN. "Everything is going to burn. Our land, our animals, and our house."

The southern coast of the northern Mediterranean has been unseasonably hot and dry, leaving the region susceptible to fires. But in Turkey at least, investigators are trying to determine if some of the raging fires were the result of arson.

Turkey's FM thanks Spain, Croatia for support against wildfires

Daily Sabah 02 August, 2021 - 06:22am

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu conveyed his gratitude to Spain and Croatia for their support to fight the wildfires in Turkey.

Çavuşoğlu thanked his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Albares for offering to send two firefighting planes to help battle the wildfires that have taken hold of Turkey. The Foreign Minister and his Spanish counterpart spoke on the phone, and Çavuşoğlu thanked Spain for its assistance within the scope of the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism.

Çavuşoğlu also expressed his gratitude to his Croatian counterpart after Croatia pledged to send one of its own firefighting planes. The foreign minister thanked Croatia for the display of friendship, solidarity and support. The European Commission stated that they would deploy three firefighting planes to put out the raging wildfires in Turkey.

Meanwhile, Çavuşoğlu also spoke with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on the phone and thanked him for the firefighting planes and support, a statement by the Foreign Ministry said Monday.

Turkey has launched the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and as an urgent response, the European Commission has allocated one Canadair firefighting plane from Croatia and two Canadair firefighting planes from Spain, according to a statement released by the commission.

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Turkey Battles Wildfires for 6th Day; 10,000 Are Evacuated

Bloomberg 02 August, 2021 - 03:29am

Wildfires near the seaside resort of Marmaris, Turkey, on Aug. 1. Evacuation orders were issued for the nearby town of Turunc.

Bozalan, Turkey (AP) -- Selcuk Sanli set his two cows loose, put his family’s most treasured belongings in a car and fled his home as a wildfire approached his village near Turkey's beach resort of Bodrum, one of thousands fleeing flames that have coated the skies with a thick yellow haze.

For the sixth straight day, Turkish firefighters battled Monday to control the blazes that are tearing through forests near Turkey’s beach destinations. Fed by strong winds and scorching temperatures, the fires that began Wednesday have left eight people dead. Residents and tourists have fled vacation resorts in flotillas of small boats or convoys of cars and trucks. Many villagers have lost their homes and farm animals and have had trouble breathing amid the heavy smoke.

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