Turkish Interior Minister Not Confirming PKK's Involvement in Forest Arson
10:55 GMT 02.08.2021 (Updated: 10:56 GMT 02.08.2021)
ANKARA (Sputnik) - It is too early to make claims about the involvement of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK, banned in Turkey) in the forest arson that caused devastating wildfires, since the investigation is ongoing, Turkish Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu said on Monday.
Turkish pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak reported recently that the PKK-affiliated Children of Fire group claimed responsibility for the arson.
31 July, 18:05 GMT
"A special commission was created to investigate the fires. We received 270 appeals on the matter, we check each one. Intelligence is working is well. We cannot make any statements until the situation is clarified. Some people were detained, and the investigation continues," Soylu told reporters.
"The PKK has been engaged in economic sabotage, including forest arson, for about three years, but we need to finalize investigation to say for sure whether the terrorists have anything to do with the latest fires. It is necessary not just to detain a suspect but also to establish who is behind him," Soylu continued.
According to the minister, some forces want to "use rumours for political purposes."
"We should not trust rumours posted on the Internet and in social networks. Let us await the results [of the investigation] and listen to official statements," Soylu concluded.
In the meantime, the largest wildfires raging in Turkey have been brought under control, Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish communications director, said on Monday.
"Of the 129 fires in 35 provinces, 122 have been contained," Fahrettin Altun said as quoted by the Anadolu news agency.
The country continues its efforts to contain the other seven, having mobilized all available resources to fight against wildfires, the official specified.
Massive fires erupted on Wednesday in at least 35 Turkish provinces, including those on the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, and resulted in the death of eight people.