Fire teams control more than 100 fires in 6 Turkish states. Erdogan presents the hypothesis of terrorist action | Turkey news

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Turkish firefighting teams continue operations to extinguish land and air forest fires in Manavgat district in southwestern Antalya state, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country has begun investigating evidence that terrorism is linked to the outbreak of those fires.

Turkish firefighting teams have managed to bring 111 wildfires under control across the country, while efforts continue to extinguish 6 fires.

Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said in a tweet via Twitter on Sunday that most of the fires that broke out between July 28 and August 1 are under control.

He pointed out that work is still underway to extinguish 6 fires that are still ongoing, two in Antalya, 3 in Mugla (south and southwest) and one fire in Tongeli (east).

Anadolu Agency stated that the fire teams are continuing to work to bring the fires under control in the area, and that many helicopters that have arrived in the area are unloading their cargo of water over the flames at a rate of 4 times per minute.

The minister added that fire teams and forest workers continue to work to put out fires with fire trucks, and citizens are contributing by carrying fire-extinguishing equipment and water hoses.

He pointed out that the teams had the fire under control on the highway side, indicating that it continued in the forest area.

Wildfires broke out in several states in southern and southwestern Turkey, including Antalya, Adana, Mugla, Mersin and Osmaniye, which were declared disaster areas by President Erdogan.

Dead and wounded

The death toll from bushfires rose to 8 after two bodies were found on Sunday while more people were evacuated.

The two bodies were found in the city of Manavgat in Antalya province, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter.

Official data showed that Turkey is witnessing some of the worst fires in at least a decade, with about 95,000 hectares destroyed so far this year, compared to an average of 13,516 so far this year between 2008 and 2020.

More than 864 people have received medical treatment since the fires broke out last Wednesday, according to the health minister.

Today, Sunday, the mayor of Bodrum’s tourism community, Ahmet Aras, said some of the neighborhoods had been evacuated as the fire caught fire from strong winds from the nearby Milas area.

He said more than 1,100 residents were transported to another part of Bodrum by about 20 boats, as it was not possible to evacuate people by land.

Residents of the city of Marmaris in Mugla province have also been evacuated by boat with the help of the navy, the defense ministry said.

Investigating terrorist motives

In this regard, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country has launched an investigation into evidence of a link between terrorism and the outbreak of dozens of forest fires in the south of the country.

Last night, Saturday, before a crowd of civilians in the Marmaris region of Mugla state, where the fires are continuing, President Erdogan said that “if we prove that there is a link to terrorism with forest fires, and we get some clues, we will follow the case to the end and do what it takes.”

The Turkish president added: “Our security forces are investigating the fires with their various weapons and intelligence, and just as you think, it also seems to us that terrorist organizations may have a hand in the outbreak of these fires, and the terrorist organization announced last year that it would burn down our forests.”

Who started the fires?

On Friday, Erdogan said – in press statements – that the issue of the fires “is not a coincidence, the fires started almost simultaneously in more than one province in southern Turkey”, adding: “We must stand together on this day, a make a united decision and take united steps in one direction “together”.

“Who started these fires? We have doubts. All our institutions are conducting a thorough investigation into this matter and suspects have been arrested,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said the same day from the devastated Manavgat region.

Authorities arrested 5 people in Osmaniye district on suspicion of their connection to the outbreak of fires in this area, and the private news agency “Demiroren” (DHE) stated that it was also believed that two boys accidentally started the fire started by marmaris.

The Turkish president promised to compensate the victims and Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said 101 fires had broken out in the past four days, 91 of which were under control.

Satellite images showed smoke from Antalya and Mersin reaching the island of Cyprus, about 150 km away.

Turkish radio and television stations said a new fire broke out on Saturday in the city of Bodrum, a popular resort and holiday destination on the Aegean coast, and some residential areas and hotels have been evacuated.

In southern Turkey, wildfires tend to occur during the hot summer months, but local authorities say the recent fires covered larger areas and were fueled by high temperatures, humidity and high winds.

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