Thursday, September 23

Greece and Turkey battle against the clock to extinguish the wave of fires

Image of the fire that threatens the Milas thermal power plant, in Mugla, Turkey.

Image of the fire that threatens the Milas thermal power plant, in Mugla, Turkey.

Turkey Y Greece they continue to battle against the worst wave of fires in recent decades, which is still raging in both countries but which is already in sight of the end. Or at least a break: this Saturday, the heat wave will end up on the shores of Aegean Sea, and even some rains are expected on the Turkish coast. Afterwards, the temperatures will return to normal.

The fight against fire, however, it was not over yet this Thursday. This morning, in the Peloponnese peninsula a large fire has been declared that threatens to reach and destroy part of the ruins of the ancient city of Olympus, an archaeological site of world interest. It was in this ancient city that the first Olympic games were invented and held in the 776 a.C., a little less than 3,000 years ago.

“Firefighters carry battling all night to protect the ruins and continue to fight during the day to contain the fire fronts and extinguish them. Conditions are difficult ”, said the Greek Civil Protection Minister, Michalis Chrysochoidis. The situation is so complicated in Greece that the Government has also called the Army to join the fight against fires. This week alone, a hundred have been registered.

Dead and evacuated

But, without a doubt, who has borne the brunt of this heat wave that fries the Eastern mediterranean it is Turkey, with about 200 fires declared over the last seven days. Eight people have died and several tens of thousands have had to be evacuated.

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Fires in Greece and Turkey

There have been scenes of panic: On Wednesday night the fire approached the Milas thermal power plant, in southeastern Turkish, which uses Coal to generate electricity. The plant, before the advance of the flames, was evacuated, and the explosive materials were removed from it. But not the coal: tons were left inside.

The flames penetrated the perimeter of the place, although it did not go further. The good news has arrived early this morning: “The fire in the thermal power plant has been extinguished. There have been no explosions at the plant, and no chemicals have escaped, ”said the Mugla provincial mayor’s office, where the plant is located. Later, the Turkish Government has confirmed it.


For now 15 fires still active in Turkey and the heat wave continues to scorch, but the political battle for them has already begun. The opposition accuses the government of the president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for not having done enough to prevent the flames from reaching the thermal plant and the villages and emergency services they have not received sufficient funds in recent years.

Erdogan, who this Wednesday night gave a live interview to a related television, said otherwise. “Who has The responsability of fires in residential areas? It is under the responsibility of the municipalities there ”, said Erdogan. The municipalities of the affected regions are, for the most part, controlled by the main opposition party. “There’s a ‘terrorism of lies’ in Turkey? Yes, there is. Who does it? The opposition. Some call it ‘operation of perception’, but the real name is ‘terrorism of lies’, “said the Turkish president.

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