Turkey wildfires force more residents to flee homes

The Nation  |  Aug 02, 2021

Ankara - Wildfires in southern Turkey forced more people to flee their homes on Sunday as pressure on the government grew over its response to the deadly forest fires.

Turkey has suffered the worst fires in at least a decade, official data show, with nearly 95,000 hectares (235,000 acres) burned so far this year, compared with an average of 13,516 at this point in the year between 2008 and 2020. Since the fires broke out Wednesday, six people have died and more than 330 have received medical treatment. A neighbourhood in the tourist city of Bodrum was evacuated, CNN Turk broadcaster reported, as flames were fanned by strong winds from Milas district nearby. Unable to leave by road, 540 residents were taken to hotels by boats, the channel said. There were more evacuations in the village of Sirtkoy in Antalya province, NTV broadcaster reported, with images of grey smoke clouds enveloping homes.

Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said 107 of 112 forest fires were now under control, but blazes continued in the holiday regions of Antalya and Mugla. Temperatures are set to remain high in the region after record levels last month. 

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