”The whole country is a fire scene with a significant increase in illegal practices, increasing risk of further pandemic as well as high inflation rate (18.95 percent), and ongoing wildfires,” writes Hüseyin Deniz for Yeni Yaşam.
It has been burning, it has been set alight and destroyed for years. No serious measures have ever been undertaken. If certain measures had been taken, many wildfires could have been prevented. Authorities apply double standards in dealing with forest fires in Turkey.
They are sensitive when it is about the forests in the west, but they are only spectators when it comes to the fires in the east.
For example, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry says that a total of 16 fires continues in seven provinces, including Adana, Antalya, Aydın, Denizli, Hatay, Isparta and Muğla, but he does not even mention Dersim.
The forests have been burning for days in the Hozat district of Dersim, but the authorities remain silent. The forest area between the border of Nazmiye and Pülümür was burnt down just the previous day.
A month ago, wildfires continued for days in Bingöl Kiğı, and again, there was silence about it.
According to local people, continuous air strikes ignited the fires in the forests of Dersim and Bingöl. The police and military preventing the attempts of the civil organisations to extinguish the fires confirms these concerns. As a matter of fact, there are dozens of unmanned aerial vehicles in Dersim and Bingöl; It is easy to identify how these fires started, and by whom.
Is there anything more absurd than having such a high technological surveillance system that can closely monitor, target and shoot people from the air but it is not able to detect what or who started the fires?
Have the wildfires really just began due to the heat in the west? Or is it just a coincidence that the forest fires began in many cities especially cities such as Antalya on 28 July, when the Tourism Incentive Law came into law in forest areas for construction, and the Amendments on Laws were published in the Official Gazette with the approval of the Presidency?
Let us say for now, that was a coincidence, but why were cooling measures and water sprinkling air-planes not used in Turkey?
Is there an answer why Turkish Aeronautical Association [THK] firefighting aircrafts which have five, even six-time more capacity of water have not been mobilised for the wildfires with their specialised staff sitting idle?
11 city mayors pleaded for these planes. No respond!
To cut a long story short, people wonder what is the truth behind the wildfires.
The Spokesperson of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Environment Committee and CHP’s MP for Izmir, Murat Bakan, called for commissions in the parliament to investigate the ongoing forest fires. Would they establish a commission to inquire into these wildfires? It seems hardly possible.