By Devina Halim
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AA) - Indonesia on Thursday said it has already conveyed condolences to Turkey over forest fires that have been burning in the country for over a week now.
Teuku Faizasyah, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi spoke to her counterpart in Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu, on Aug. 1.
“She expressed solidarity and condolences over forest fires that have ravaged some parts of the country and claimed the lives of 8 people,” Faizasyah told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.
He said the Indonesian Embassy in Turkey continues to monitor the condition of its citizens in the affected areas.
“So far, there have been no reports of victims from Indonesia,” said the official, adding that around 1,000 Indonesian citizens are living in southern Turkey.
But "most of the Indonesian citizens reside in urban areas or around the coast, far from the forests,” Faizasyah explained.
Bekir Pakdemirli, Turkey's agriculture and forestry minister, said that 167 fires in 33 provinces have been brought under control. Efforts to put out the remaining 16 blazes in seven provinces continue "unabated," he added.
*Writing by Maria Elisa Hospita