Turkish wildfires force tourists to relocate from hotels, resorts

Aug 1, 2021: Tourists have been evacuated off the coast of southwestern Turkey as 13 cities are engulfed in Turkish wildfires, that are destroying not only forests but also people’s homes and endangering animals.

According to local media, three five-star hotels in Bodrum city were allegedly evacuated. The Turkish wildfires that have been burning since Wednesday, have alreay killed six people. Two more deaths were confirmed on Saturday. They was among thousands of people fighting around 100 separate fires in resorts and villages along Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean coasts.

Authorities say all but 10 of Turkish wildfires have been contained. Most of the fires are now under control but blazes continued in the southern coastal provinces of Antalya and Mersin, the western coastal province of Mugla, and the central province of Usak.

The wildfires have burned down forests and some settlements, encroaching on villages and tourist destinations and forcing thousands of people to evacuate.

A new blaze erupted on Saturday in the popular holiday resort of Bodrum on the Aegean coast and some residential areas and hotels were evacuated, according to broadcasters. Turkish wildfires are common in the south of the country in the summer but authorities say the latest blazes have covered a much bigger area.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a visit to Manavgat on Saturday, saying all damaged infrastructure from the wildfires would be rebuilt and losses compensated, adding that Azerbaijan, Russia, Ukraine and Iran had sent firefighting planes and support teams to the affected areas.

As the Turkish wildfires rage, social media fills with heartbreaking videos. With the hashtags #PrayforTurkey and #TurkeyisBurning, netizens inside and outside the country are trying to draw attention to the severity of the situation.

The president has been sharply criticized for the lack of firefighters in the country. But he said “the main reason for these problems with aircraft is that the Turkish Aeronautical Association has not been able to update its fleet and technology.”

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