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Turkish President Erdogan Gives Disaster Zone Status for Regions Affected by Wildfires

© REUTERS / Kaan SoyturkA firefighter extinguishes a forest fire near the town of Manavgat, east of the resort city of Antalya, Turkey, July 30, 2021. REUTERS/Kaan Soyturk
A firefighter extinguishes a forest fire near the town of Manavgat, east of the resort city of Antalya, Turkey, July 30, 2021. REUTERS/Kaan Soyturk - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.07.2021
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The blaze erupted last week in the region of Antalya, quickly spreading over the country's southern areas. The wildfires have so far killed at least four people, destroyed multiple houses, and prompted mass evacuations all over the coast.
"We have declared our areas affected by wildfires as a disaster zone. We will continue to take all [the] necessary steps to heal the wounds of our nation, pay for damage, and do everything we can to make things better than before", Erdogan tweeted.
At the same time, Turkish authorities have also launched an investigation into the causes of the blaze, probing possible arson.
© SputnikThe situation in Marmaris, Turkey, amid nationwide wildfires
The situation in Marmaris, Turkey, amid nationwide wildfires - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2021
The situation in Marmaris, Turkey, amid nationwide wildfires
In the meantime, Russia has sent five Il-76 aircraft and three Mi-8 helicopters to help Turkey extinguish the wildfires.
"Our president held a phone conversation with ... Putin. Erdogan thanked Putin for sending five Il-76 aircraft with a water intake of 40 tonnes and three Mi-8 firefighting helicopters to Turkey to extinguish the wildfires. In turn, the Russian president wished that the situation returns to normal as soon as possible", the Turkish presidential office said in a statement.
The wildfires, which erupted amid a major heat wave and powerful winds, resulted in the hospitalisation of at least 50 people, according to authorities.
© SputnikThe situation in Marmaris, Turkey, amid nationwide wildfires
The situation in Marmaris, Turkey, amid nationwide wildfires - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2021
The situation in Marmaris, Turkey, amid nationwide wildfires
Per previous statements by the president, there have been at least 70 outbreaks of fire in southern Turkey, and 14 of them were still burning as of Saturday morning. The flames hit tourist venues in Turkey, as many hotels had to evacuate in the resort cities of Bodrum and Marmaris.
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