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Relief efforts pick up pace with fire under control in Turkey’s Marmaris

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With the wildfires in Turkey’s southern Marmaris province completely under control, rescue and relief efforts have picked up pace in the region.

Volunteers from the country’s leading animal rights organization, the Animal Rights Federation (HAYTAP), are searching for animals that hid underground to escape the blazes.

So far, volunteers have saved numerous turtles and hedgehogs from the flames. Efforts are being made to find the animals that managed to survive in the burned areas after the forest fire on June 21 in the Hisarönü suburb of the Bördübet and Yedi Adalar regions.

HAYTAP members also go to the points where the fire is under control and work in places where animals can hide. The nongovernmental organization (NGO) even established a field hospital for injured animals and volunteers named a dog that came to them for treatment as Ateş (“Fire” in Turkish).

HAYTAP’s Aydın representative, Mehmet Gürhan Tığoğlu, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that after the fire in Marmaris, they joined the animal rescue effort as a federation.

Tığoğlu outlined that the volunteers made great efforts to reach the stranded animals that managed to survive the fire. “Some of the animals are able to escape from the flames, while animals such as turtles and hedgehogs try to save themselves by hiding under the ground. Our volunteers spend the whole day in the burn areas trying to find a trace of the animals. This is really true. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack,” he said.

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Veterinarians attend to a turtle suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning in Marmaris, Turkey, June 26, 2022. (DHA Photo)

Brought back to life

Meanwhile, a turtle suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning was brought back to life Saturday using oxygen therapy.

A team of nine people, including four veterinarians, special veterinary ambulances and vehicles provided services to the region, according to a statement by the provincial municipality.

Working in coordination with members of the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), Animal Search and Rescue Association and the Environmental Protection and Control Department in the burned areas, the team found an unresponsive turtle in the forest.

It was determined that the turtle, which was treated at the Vetbus mobile clinic, was suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.

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The resuscitated turtle will be released into its natural environment after it has fully recovered.

The agriculture and forestry minister said Saturday that the wildfire is under control after erupting in Marmaris earlier this week.

Leading relief efforts

The Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) is leading the relief efforts and assisting the fire brigade teams.

In a written statement, the aid organization said it was providing some much-needed assistance to the firefighters and volunteers fighting blazes in Marmaris, with personnel working round the clock.

“The Turkish Red Crescent teams, which provide hot meal, soup, bread, beverages, and water in the region with disaster experts and volunteers, also deliver food materials to employees who cannot come to fixed points with their mobile teams,” the statement said.

It added that the emergency department of the organization will “continue to carry out its activities in the region until the fire is fully brought under control.”

Hero’s farewell

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Fire fighting teams from Ankara pack up after containing the blaze in Marmaris, Turkey, June 26, 2022. (DHA Photo)
Fire fighting teams from Ankara pack up after containing the blaze in Marmaris, Turkey, June 26, 2022. (DHA Photo)

Teams have started working on cooling down the areas worse affected by the devastating forest fires.

Multiple land teams were working to prevent the flames from rising again, while coast guard teams and the gendarmerie also continued to maintain security in the area.

Gendarmerie commandos were restricting access, especially to the areas where evacuated houses were located, while coast guard teams took necessary precautions along the seashore.

Elsewhere, fire fighting teams that traveled to the region from different parts of Turkey were given a hero’s farewell after nearly five days of constant battle with the blaze.

Citizens bid farewell to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry personnel, who worked with all their hearts to contain the fire that burned down over 4,500 hectares of forested area.

Forest workers from all over Turkey were sent to the provinces and districts. They started to leave Maramaris Sunday, accompanied by loud applause.

Earlier Friday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed that the fire was mostly under control while visiting the disaster-hit region.

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He said more than 4,500 personnel battled the flames. He was briefed by relevant ministers and authorities about the latest situation.

He added that over 1,100 vehicles, as well as 15 planes and 46 helicopters, were engaged in efforts by land and air to put out blazes.

“The fires in Dalaman, Fethiye, Köyceğiz, and Seydikemer have been contained,” Erdoğan said, adding that the burned-down areas will be afforested again.

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Source: Daily Sabah

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