Most Fires in Turkey Extinguished, Power Plants Also Saved

Turkish firefighters still have their hands complete putting out wildfires that have ravaged the country for more than a week. There are still 13 fires in southern coastal areas near the Mediterranean Sea. However, the emergency services did manage to win the battle against the fire at a power plant in Mugla province, which is popular with tourists.


On Wednesday, the Turkish government reported that 174 fires have broken out recently, most of which have also been extinguished. More than 5,000 troops are deployed to fight the fire. The Turkish fire brigade also receives international assistance. Several countries, including Russia, Croatia and Spain, have sent firefighting planes.

The Spanish firefighting planes also helped with the firefighting around the power plant in Milas district. There, seawater was thrown onto the flames from the air. Turkish aid workers, meanwhile, dug trenches around the building to keep the fire at bay. That worked, and the fire appeared to have been largely extinguished on Wednesday afternoon.

Fires have also wreaked havoc in other places in Mugla. Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu estimated Tuesday evening that 16,000 people had been evacuated and about 2,000 buildings destroyed in that province alone. The nationwide death toll from the fires stands at eight. On television, you can see how Turks flee from the fire in panic.

Turkish media watchdog RTÜK has ordered media outlets to exercise restraint in broadcasting images of the fires. “We are not against reporting about the wildfires, but against material that causes unrest and chaos,” the regulator’s vice-chair explained. Transmitters that nevertheless make a mistake risk a fine.

The fires are also causing political unrest. The opposition believes that the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan should have adopted foreign aid more quickly. The president became the target of ridicule on social media after throwing tea bags at people in the disaster area. The president will deliver a speech on Wednesday evening and is expected to counterattack.

Turks are not only suffering from fires but are also suffering from an unprecedented heatwave. Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said a temperature record was broken in the city of Marmaris this week. It would have been 45.5 degrees there.

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