The impressive fires that have raged in southwestern Turkey for seven days are approaching a thermal power plant near the city of Milas – warned its mayor, as thousands of people are evacuated by a catastrophe that has left eight dead so far.
The mayor of Milas, Muhammet Tokat, posted a series of urgent messages on Twitter, warning of the uncontrolled advance of flames up the hill where the thermoelectric plant is installed.
“It’s a critical place,” he said in a video, which shows the flames.
Tokat is a member of the biggest party opposing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and one of the voices critical of Erdogan’s management during this catastrophe.
The Turkish leader has become the target of criticism and jokes on social media after his visit to the affected area last weekend, carried out under a strong police scheme. In it, he threw tea bags, under the gaze of astonished residents.
Yesterday (2), the government reported that 145 fires were smothered and that it is fighting to control another nine. The Interior and Defense Ministries announced the deployment of military troops to help the firefighters.
The police also said they would use water trucks, the same ones used to break up protests against the government.
The mayor of Milas denounced, however, that his first messages of help, requesting planes to fight the flames, went unanswered.
“It was obvious this was going to happen,” he tweeted, as the flames get closer and closer to the thermoelectric plant.
For decades, this country of 84 million people has been terrified by images of ever more intense, destructive and lethal fires.
Terrified, tourists on the coast of the Aegean Sea, in the southwest of the country, try to escape the flames, jumping on boats. Meanwhile, dozens of villages were evacuated as the flames rushed forward, spurred on by strong winds.
An AFP team in the coastal town of Marmaris registered farmers, leading their frightened animals to the relative safety of the beaches.
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