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Erdoan dismisses criticism of firefighting planes as forest fires ravage Turkey




Photos: AA

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Efforts in Turkey continue to contain 14 wildfires that have bursts since Wednesday, when 57 have been brought under control, announced the president and chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Recep Tayyip Erdoan.

“The battle against the wildfires is still ongoing at 1140 points,” he told reporters after Friday prayers in stanbul, adding that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were monitoring the situation in the area. Round the clock.

“To date, the number of planes has increased to five-six with planes from Russia and Ukraine,” he said, adding that Azerbaijan was also sending an amphibious plane. A total of 45 helicopters have been deployed, he noted.

Turkey was only able to deploy three firefighting planes, which drew criticism from opposition politicians and social media users. Two of these planes were leased from Russia.

Critics point to the exclusion of the Turkish Aeronautical Association (THK), whose planes had been used in firefighting for decades, from firefighting efforts.

Erdoan dismissed the critics, saying “they make things up. The THK doesn’t have planes to fly here comfortably.”

Previously, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said the THK planes were too old and unusable.

Erdoan also said that an investigation into the cause of the fires in different parts of the country “is continuing intensively”.

He did not rule out the possibility of “sabotage” as numerous fires broke out in a short period of time, saying investigations were continuing.

“Erdoan has 13 planes”

Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) spokesman Ebru Gnay criticized the government’s response to the massive fires at a press conference.

“The government’s inability to deploy two planes to put out the fires during [the president’s] palace has 13 planes shows the peril in which this country has been drawn, ”she noted. (D / VK)




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