Mehmet Demir returned to his home in Turkey on Saturday, just days after the raging wildfire that decimated their family’s home for 40 years, only to find a burned-out structure, charred possessions and ashes.
After the destruction of the region’s worst fires in many years, only a few items were left – a ladder, bedsprings, some kitchenware, and dozens of other metal chairs – with some still burning just four days later.
Demir’s house, located near Manavgat on the coast of the Mediterranean, was struck by one of the nearly 100 fires that officials said erupted in southern and western Turkey this week. The flames were sparked by strong winds and sweltering heat.
Demir said that the blaze spread quickly through the highlands, and raged abruptly as he looked at the destruction of his 1982 home. “We had no choice but to flee to Manavgat. We returned to the house in this condition.
“This was our only (only) savings for the past 39-40years. My wife and I are left with the clothes that we have worn, together. There’s nothing else to do. This is where words fail.
According to Daily Reuters, the death toll from fires rose to six Saturday after two firefighters died in the fight to contain the flames in Manavgat.
Satellite imagery showed that smoke from fires in Antalya, Mersin, and Mersin extended to the island of Cyprus, approximately 150 km (100 mi) away.
In southern Turkey, wildfires are quite common during the summer heat. However, local authorities claim that the most recent fires have damaged more than expected.
There are increasing calls for urgent action to reduce the global warming caused by deadly heatwaves, floods, and wildfires.
Bekir Pakdemirli, Turkey’s Agriculture and Forestry Minister, said that 98 fires broke out over the past four days. Of these, 88 were under control.
The fires continued in the southern coastal provinces Osmaniye and Antalya and Mersin. Some hotels were evacuated from Mugla, which is a popular tourist area for Turks and tourists.
According to Turkish meteorological authorities, heatwaves are predicted along the Aegean, Mediterranean coast regions. Temperatures will rise by 4-8 degrees Celsius above their seasonal averages.
They will reach 43 to 47° Celsius in Antalya (the main province of Manavgat) in the next few days.
The weather is extreme hot and dry. This makes it easier to start fires. “Our smallest error leads to a great catastrophe,” Levent Kurnaz, a Turkish climate scientist, stated on Twitter.