A group close to the PKK said it was behind the historic fires in southern Turkey, Yeni Safak reports. The organization claims to want to put the Turkish authorities “on the knees by fire”.
The Kurdish group “Children of Fire” claimed responsibility for the forest fires, which have claimed eight victims and injured hundreds in the southern provinces of Turkey since July 28, reports the Yeni Safak newspaper.
In its statement quoted by the daily, the organization accuses the “Turkish regime” of not “understanding another language” and indicates that it wants to “put it on its knees by fire”.
For years, “Children of Fire” have been burning the forests in Turkey. Senior officials of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), considered a terrorist organization by Ankara, have repeatedly expressed their support for these actions.
According to official figures, Turkey is currently experiencing the worst fires in at least a decade, with nearly 95,000 hectares burned so far.
Over the past weekend, hundreds of tourists and residents of the cities of Antalya, Bodrum and Marmaris were evacuated from their hotels and homes amid the spreading fire in southern Turkey.
Erdogan promises “the most severe punishment”
On July 31, Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that the Turkish authorities did not rule out that the fires ravaging the country were intentional. “If there are traitors who are ready to burn their own country, they will suffer the most severe punishment,” promised the Turkish President.
The European Union has just sent three water bomber planes to help Turkey in its fight against the flames. Previously, Ankara had borrowed bomber planes from Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Iran.