By Mehmet Sah Yilmaz
ANKARA (AA) - Greece’s foreign minister spoke by phone Thursday with his Turkish counterpart as wildfires raged across southern Turkey, leaving deaths, injuries and a trail of destruction in their wake.
Nikos Dendias wished a speedy recovery to the country and told Mevlut Cavusoglu they are ready to help if needed.
The offer came after officials said earlier in the day that a massive forest fire in Turkey’s Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya had killed three people.
The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said in a statement that 138 others were also affected by the wildfires in Manavgat district, including one person who was seriously injured.
The treatment of 58 people continues at hospitals, it added.
Many homes, workplaces, barns, farmland, greenhouses and vehicles were damaged due to the blaze, it said, adding a dozen teams are conducting a damage assessment.
The Turkish Red Crescent sent a field kitchen, five catering vehicles and catering units with a capacity for over 20,000 people.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the state is mobilizing all means to control and put out the fires.
Erdogan, who is constantly on the phone with ministers on the spot and is receiving real-time updates on developments regarding the control of the fires, wished Allah's mercy on those who were killed.
“The fire in Manavgat, Antalya is under control, but there’s an ongoing fire in Akseki [district] which erupted last night,” Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli told reporters in Antalya.
Pakdemirli and Cavusoglu examined the area of the fire, which started at four different spots in Manavgat before spreading.
“Our hope is that the fires both in Manavgat and in various parts of Turkey are brought under control and extinguished,” Cavusoglu said.
He also said that an investigation into the cause of the fires was being carried out upon the instructions of President Erdogan.
"We've also allocated a dormitory with a capacity of 720 people in Manavgat. Last night, 90 people stayed in this dormitory. Most people are staying with relatives and friends," Cavusoglu said.
He noted that the Turkish Red Crescent was already serving hot meals at six points and said that a communications network had been set up with local officials to meet urgent needs such as clothing.