Erdogan: Turkey Has Detained Suspect in Case of Starting Forest Fires
18:05 GMT 31.07.2021 (Updated: 18:53 GMT 31.07.2021)
© SputnikWildfires raging near the town of Bodrum, Turkey
The Turkish president said that the authorities have not ruled out the possibility that someone deliberately set the forests on fire. The blaze has already killed six and injured over 400 people, also prompting several evacuations in resort towns.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that a person suspected of forest arson in the country's south-west has been detained. He did not reveal the suspect's name or motives, but said that the person was suspected of being connected with a wildfire near the city of Milas in Mugla province.
Erdogan said that the country does not rule out the possibility that the wildfires, which he had previously dubbed a "national disaster", were started by people interested in hurting Turkey.
"We are thoroughly investigating the causes of wildfires. If there are such traitors who can set to fire their own motherland, they will face severe punishment", Erdogan said.
Several dozen of wildfires are raging in 30 districts in Turkey's southwest. They have already resulted in at least six deaths and left over 400 injured. The wildfires have also come dangerously close to some villages and seashore resort cities, prompting the evacuations of hotels and entire settlements.
31 July, 18:13 GMT
Namely, the resort town of Bodrum saw three local hotels evacuated due to the threat of the raging forest fires. The mayor of the city said that the hotel residents had been moved into the central areas of the city. Turkish media outlets, in turn, reported that the vacationers from Bodrum had been relocated to the seashore, where they are supposedly waiting for evacuation via rescue boats.