Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

A firefighter extinguishes a forest fire near the town of Manavgat, east of the resort city of Antalya, Turkey, on July 30.

KAAN SOYTURK/Reuters

The death toll in wildfires raging in southern Turkey rose to four as fire crews on Friday battled blazes that burned down homes and forced people to evacuate villages and beach resorts.

Firefighters were still tackling wildfires in 14 locations in six provinces in Turkey’s Mediterranean and southern Aegean region, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters. A total of 57 other wildfires that broke out amid strong winds and scorching heat have been brought under control since Wednesday, he said.

The worst fires were in the Manavgat and Akseki regions in Antalya province, where strong winds pushed the fire toward settlements on Wednesday. An 82-year-old man and a married couple died, more than 50 people were hospitalized and dozens of homes were incinerated. More than 25 neighborhoods or villages were evacuated.

Story continues below advertisement

Meanwhile, a 25-year-old volunteer died in another fire near the Turkish resort of Marmaris, 320 kilometers (200 miles) west of Antalya late Thursday, raising the death toll in the fires to four. The state-run Anadolu Agency said the man was taking drinking water to firefighters but got in a motorcycle crash and perished in the fire.

The mountainside fire in Marmaris briefly threatened holiday homes and hotels on Thursday while guests at a luxury hotel in the Aegean beach resort of Guvercinlik, near the town of Bodrum, were evacuated in boats, reports said.

Azerbaijan announced it would send 500 emergency workers, helicopters and other equipment to help Turkey, a close ally, battle the blazes. Erdogan said Azerbaijan would also provide an amphibious firefighting aircraft, in addition to firefighting planes sent from Russia and Ukraine. Neighboring Greece also offered help.

In Greece, authorities on Friday ordered additional fire patrols and infrastructure inspections as the country grappled with a heat wave fed by hot air from Africa that is expected to last more than a week. Temperatures in Greece and nearby countries in southeast Europe are expected to climb to 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 Fahrenheit) Monday in many cities and towns and ease only later next week.

Turkish authorities launched investigations into the fires on Thursday. The mayor for Marmaris said he couldn’t rule out “sabotage” as a cause for the fire there. Erdogan said Friday that the Interior Ministry and intelligence services were “engaged in an intense effort” to shed light on the wildfires.

Wildfires are common in Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean regions during the arid summer months, though some previous forest fires have been blamed on arson or outlawed Kurdish militants.

In other Turkish provinces, authorities declared a ban on people entering forests in a bid to prevent more fires.

Story continues below advertisement

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies