This possibly well-intentioned action seems rather strange …
Serious forest fires are still raging in Turkey, with the death toll rising to eight over the weekend. Tourists have to be evacuated, entire places in the vacation paradise have been destroyed – and the emergency services are still fighting the flames. The Mediterranean regions around Mugla and Antalya are particularly affected.
An exceptional situation that caused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (67) to drive to the disaster region to get a personal picture of the situation and to speak to the victims of the fire disaster.
But something about his appearance annoyed many of those affected. A video that appeared on Twitter shows Erdogan’s convoy rushing through Marmaris.
Flanked by several police vehicles, Erdogan’s bus passes the end of the film. Erdogan can be seen standing next to the bus driver. Through the open door he throws a packet of tea at the bystanders.
Many social media users criticized the action: On the one hand, the Erdogan convoy led to an even higher volume of traffic. On the other hand: What should the tea bag litters do? So far, that has remained Erdogan’s secret.
Meanwhile, the cause of the forest fires that broke out in several places is still being investigated. While the authorities are also investigating the possibility of “sabotage” by militant Kurds, experts assume that the fires are primarily due to the extremely high temperatures as a result of the climate crisis. Erdogan said on Saturday that one of the fires had been started by children.
EU sends fire-fighting planes
Bekir Pakdemirli, Turkey’s Minister of Forestry and Agriculture, said 125 fires out of 132 had been brought under control. In the regions of Antalya, Mugla and Tunceli, which are popular with tourists, there are still seven fires.
Meanwhile, the EU announced aid: One fire-fighting aircraft had been requested from Croatia and two from Spain. The planes from Spain are expected on Tuesday, the plane from Croatia should arrive late Monday. In addition, Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran sent planes.