With more and more criticism of the government, wildfires raged in the drought-stricken Turkey

On Monday, firefighters used planes and helicopters, as well as locals carrying buckets to fight the raging wildfires near the resorts on the southern coast of Turkey, which was hit by a drought. The government faced new criticism of its disaster handling methods. .

Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said that the seven fires are still burning due to temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius, strong winds and low humidity.

Weather maps show that areas affected by the fire have suffered severe droughts in recent months.

Drone footage taken by Reuters showed that on the gray hillside near the Marmaris resort, the fire made the buildings smoke and the tree trunks turned black.

On Sunday, wildfires swept through an area near Bodrum in the Mugla province of Turkey’s southern coast, and people fled. (Ismail Coskun/Ihlas News Agency/Associated Press)

Although 16 planes and 51 helicopters extinguished the fire in large areas of southwestern Turkey, villagers carried water tanks on the mountains near Marmaris to put out the fire. They said the government did not take sufficient measures to help them.

“Our whole village is here, from locals to others. We didn’t run away or anything, so the government must see this and can’t run away. It must send some planes here,” a person named Gulhan ‘S lady told Reuters.

On Monday, firefighters were working to extinguish a wildfire in the Maz area near Bodrum. (Kenang Gulbutz/Reuters)

Engin Ozkoc, a senior figure in the main opposition party CHP, called on Pakdemirli to resign because he was not fully prepared.

“You don’t deserve that department. You didn’t foresee this and bought a firefighting aircraft,” he said, criticizing the amount of air resources available.

The European Union said it helped mobilize three firefighting aircraft on Sunday. A Croatian and two Spaniards joined teams from Russia, Iran, Ukraine and Azerbaijan.

Fahrettin Altun, the communications director of President Tayyip Erdogan, rejected criticism of the government’s handling of the fire and condemned social media activities calling for foreign help.

“Our Turkey is very strong. Our country stands tall,” Alton said on Twitter, describing most of the information about the fire on social media as “fake news.” “All our losses will be compensated.”

Eight people were killed in the wildfire, but no more casualties were reported on Monday.

Since Wednesday, thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes and some tourists have left the hotel, although Tourism Minister Mohamed Esoy said holidaymakers returned within a few hours.

On Sunday, tourists left the smoky Mazi area as wildfires moved from the mountains to the waterfront of Bodrum. (Emre Tazegur/Associated Press)

After the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires are another blow to Turkish tourism.

Bulent Bulbuloglu, head of the South Aegean Hoteliers Association, stated that 10% of bookings in Bodrum and Marmaris have been cancelled. Others shortened the visit time.

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