Wildfire and Climate Change – Turkey
Wildfire and Climate Change – Turkey Battling Wildfires: Mediterranean & Southern Aegean Regions
For the third day in a row, firefighters in Turkey’s Mediterranean and southern Aegean regions are battling fires. The cause of the disastrous fires is unknown, but one official believes “sabotage” is a possibility.
Wildfires blazing on Turkey’s southern coast killed four people on Friday, forcing the evacuation of dozens of communities and hotels.
According to Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli, flames were still burning in 20 spots across six provinces in Turkey’s Mediterranean and southern Aegean regions.
This week, more than 60 wildfires erupted in 17 provinces along Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean beaches, but the majority have since been put out.
“As of this morning, we were hoping to limit some of the fires, but while we can tentatively say they are improving, we cannot claim they are under control,” Pakdemirli added.
Turkish Areas Hit by Wildfire and Climate Change
Three persons were killed in a fire in Manavgat, 75 kilometers (45 miles) east of The Mediterranean resort of Antalya, by firefighters on the ground and in helicopters. The fires forced the evacuation of 27 neighborhoods and a hospital in Manavgat, according to Urbanization and Environment Minister Murat Kurum.
Farmers in the hard-hit Manavgat region, According to Mehmet Uysal, “Some of the animals died as a result of the fire. We released several, but they caught fire in the forest. We used to have roughly 40 sheep and goats, but we lost them all.”
“The fire appeared out of nowhere. Everything was reduced to ashes. Our lives were on the verge of being taken away from us. The kids went in one direction. We went in the opposite direction. Everyone attempted to flee. It’s heartbreaking, to say the least – The scenes from the region were “apocalyptic,” A total of 15 communities and 2,300 buildings were also impacted.
Fires broke out around Manavgat, exacerbated by high winds in the hot weather, forcing the evacuation of Adana in the south and Mersin on the coast.
On Thursday, one individual was discovered dead in Mugla’s Marmaris neighborhood, 290 kilometers west of Manavgat. The fire in Marmaris was still burning, but no residential areas were threatened, according to the administration. In the Aegean summer hotspots of Bodrum in Mugla and Didim in Aydin province, two different fires broke out near residential areas.
Three planes, nine drones, 38 helicopters, 680 firefighting vehicles, and 4,000 people were participating in firefighting activities, according to Forestry Minister Pakdemirli. In the provinces of Osmaniye, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Adana, Mersin, and Kutahya, separate wildfires burned.
Causes of Wildfires
During the parched summer months, wildfires are widespread in Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean regions. Previous forest fires, however, have been attributed to arson or illegal Kurdish rebels. The fires were investigated by authorities on Thursday. “Those guilty for the attacks against nature and forests will have to account,” warned Fahrettin Altun, a top assistant to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The mayor of Marmaris stated he couldn’t rule out the possibility of “sabotage” as the source of the fire.