Anger in Turkey grows over government’s handling of wildfires
Response of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling party seen by many as out of touch as blazes rage for seventh day
last week.“I am begging for five days, dying and begging [for the authorities to help],” said one distraught resident of a village near the resort town of Marmaris, who lost his house, in a video clip widely shared on Twitter. “There was not even one fire engine here. They said they will help when the fire comes near homes. Well, here you go, it came near homes. How on earth can such management, such governance exist?
“Now they say I should fix my house … God damn all of them. If they have any fear of God or a conscience, they should resign.”Fires have alsobroken out in other parts of the Mediterranean basin, including Lebanon, Greece, Spain and Italy, as hot air from north Africa raises temperatures to more than 40C (104F).
In Turkey, however, where the fires have consumed 95,000 hectares (234,650 acres) compared with an average of 13,516 hectares by this point of the year,government has faced accusations of mismanagement and unpreparedness after admitting the country has no serviceable firefighting planes. headtopics.com
A fire engulfs a house in the village of Cokertme, near Bodrum, in Mugla province.Photograph: Emre Tazegul/AP“We are living in hell and we’re not sure what to do now,” said Ahmet Aras, the mayor of Bodrum, a coastal tourist spot, in a video posted to social media.
“It is impossible to intervene here from the land … There can only be an aircraft intervention here, but it’s too late now,” he said as thick clouds of smoke blocked out the blue sky behind him.Water-dropping aircraft from Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran have
come to Turkey’s aid, and while Ankara initially appeared unwilling to accept assistance from western nations, the EU on Monday deployed soldiers and several planes to help. On Tuesday, after social media pressure, the police force also finally started using water cannon – more often used in the increasingly authoritarian country to
– to extinguish the fires.Meanwhile, locals havefilled everything from household buckets to commercial cement mixers with water to try to put out the fires themselves. The response of Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development party (AKP), already slipping in the polls because of its mishandling of Turkey’s headtopics.com
, is seen in many quarters as being out of touch.President Erdoğan, left, at a briefing in Ankara on the wildfires on Tuesday.Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesOn a visit to inspect the damage in Marmaris over the weekend, Erdoğan caused bewilderment by throwing packets of Turkish tea from a moving bus at survivors, and a local AKP official sparked widespread anger by claiming that loan terms for rebuilding would be so generous that “others whose houses didn’t burn down might wish theirs had burned too”.
Turkey’sgovernment-linked media watchdogreleased a statement on Tuesday warning television stations that continuous live coverage of the wildfires “demoralises the people” and could be punished.As the scale of the crisis has become clearer, and public anger has grown, government officials appear to have dropped early claims that the fires were set by children or the militant Kurdistan Workers’ party. Instead, evidence suggests that almost two decades of AKP government policy have contributed to the unchecked spread of this year’s wildfires, said Erdoğan Atmış, a forestry policy expert.
“Turkey’s forests are not properly protected as ecosystems and instead seen as income-generating land … As of 2020, 6% of all forest land is no longer [classified as] forests, or are allocated for other purposes such as tourism, mining and energy,” he said.
“On top of that, due to the economic crisis, the budget for preventing forest fires has been reduced, and managers at the general directorate of forestry who are actually knowledgable and experienced when it comes to fighting fires were removed from their jobs and replaced with pro-government people.” headtopics.com
Gökçe Uygun, from Istanbul, who travelled to Manavgat in Antalya province with an aid group to help farmers protect their cows and other livestock from the flames and smoke, said many affected people she had met talked about how the state had not been there to protect them.
“What we feel is we have found out that we are the state ourselves,” she said. Read more: The Guardian »
9/11: The terror attacks on the US - minute by minute
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mmhmmbudogru The government left the people alone. All the resorts are on fire and the government is just watching. We don’t have a firefighting plane, please help. Erdoğan will be gone in two years. Turkish people will never forget this goodness you have done. helpturkey By the way... Turkey is burning since 3rd November 2002.
wow helpturkey helpus Do you have a contact for their wildfire agency? My company can assist with 50 fire fighters, 15 fire trucks, 7 sprinkler trailers and my fellow contractors can combined send in up to 1000 fire fighters, 100 fire trucks, and other equipment. Triste demais,como se aquele povo já não sofresse o bastante..
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Matt Damon says he 'never called anyone f****t' after interview angerMatt Damon on Monday issued a statement clarifying a conversation he had with The Sunday Times, insisting that he was not referring to 'a personal awakening' and never used slurs. dont worry Damon , If that shit midget movie didn't kill your career ...nothing will !!! Who is standing for straight people ? Seems like dis LGBTQ people are now more important than others Couldn't care less about what slag an actor uses. I care that produces who choose to use him in movies actually create good movies. Because that's his job. cancelculture losers.
Turkey battles coastal wildfires – in picturesThe country’s most destructive fires in decades have razed forests and farmland across swathes of land next to the Mediterranean and Aegean seas
Watch: Turkey wildfires continue to rage as more tourists are evacuatedWildfires continue to rage across southern Europe, as more residents and tourists have been evacuated from areas in Turkey , Italy and Greece.Four Greek villages east of the city of Patras were forced to evacuate, while authorities continue to tackle 56 wildfires. Blazes also continue to burn across Italy amid one of the worst heatwaves in decades. In Turkey , the death toll from wildfires has risen to eight, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited some of the worst affected areas of the country over the weekend.
Eight dead as wildfires sweep Turkey, Greece and Italy - forcing beach and village evacuationsFires are common in southern Turkey during the hot summer but experts have said this year's are much bigger than usual. Humanity is doomed. Continue cutting down the lungs of earth South American Jungles and we are all doomed , if you aint a million or billion aire you are doomed. thats why billion aires have started the space race again , they fked this planet TurkeyNeedsHelp
Eight dead as wildfires sweep Turkey, Greece and Italy - forcing beach resort and village evacuationsFires are common in southern Turkey during the hot summer but experts have said this year's are much bigger than usual. helpturkey