Wildfires rage across Turkish resort towns, force evacuations

Forest fires continued to rage across Turkey’s south and southwestern coastal resort towns, forcing evacuations of several villages and tourism facilities.

The blaze in the Manavgat district of the Mediterranean province of Antalya reached Sirtkoy village on Sunday, prompting authorities to order the evacuation of residents, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We have been on high alert at night for not allowing the flames to threaten the residential homes. But the strong wind diverted the blaze toward our homes. We couldn’t do anything,” a village resident told the NTV broadcaster.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced that seven people have been killed and 507 others affected by the fire in Manavgat, which erupted on July 27.

Meanwhile, many residents and tourists have been evacuated by Coast Guard boats and private yachts in Bodrum, an Aegean resort town of the Mugla province, after a fresh blaze that erupted in the Mazi neighbourhood.

Firefighters in Marmaris, another resort town of Mugla, have been battling the blaze still raging in the area.

Authorities ordered the evacuation of the Turunc neighbourhood.

Some 111 fires that broke out in the past five days in Turkey had been contained by Sunday morning, according to Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli.

He said six fires were still burning.