MARMARIS: The European Union sent help to Turkey on Monday and volunteers joined firefighters in battling a week of violent blazes that have killed eight people and put pressure on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey’s struggles against its deadliest wildfires in decades come as a blistering heatwave grips southeastern Europe creating tinderbox conditions that Greek officials blame squarely on climate change.
The fires tearing through Turkey since last Wednesday have destroyed huge swathes of pristine forest and forced the evacuation of panicked tourists from seaside hotels.
But they have also exposed Erdogan — facing an election in two years that could extend his rule into a third decade — to a new round of criticism over his seemingly sluggish and out-of-touch response.
The Turkish leader came under stinging condemnation for tossing bags of tea to locals while touring one of the most badly-affected regions under heavy police escort.
Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2021