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4 Dead, Over 50 Hospitalised as Wildfires Rage on Turkey's Southern Coast

The fires have been burning since 28 July, causing dozens of villages and some hotels to be evacuated across Turkey.

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At least four persons have been reported dead and over 50 were hospitalised as multiple wildfires continue to rage on Turkey's southern coast, reported Reuters on Friday, 30 July.

Fanned by strong winds, the fires have been burning since 28 July, causing dozens of villages and some hotels to be evacuated.

According to AP, Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said that one fire that broke out on Wednesday in Antalya province's Manavgat has been contained, but another that began early on Thursday, sweeping through the district of Akseki, has kept firefighters busy.

Pakdemirli added that blazes have continued to rage in six provinces.

Urbanisation Minister Murat Kurum said that 27 neighbourhoods had to be evacuated due to wildfires in Manavgat, according to Reuters.

Antalya is a popular vacation spot for tourists from Europe.

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Meanwhile, President President Tayyip Erdogan said that more than 70 wildfires had broken out in various provinces across the country and that 14 of them were still burning.

Erdogan added that at least five planes, 45 helicopters, drones, and 1,080 firefighting vehicles had been engaged to douse the blazes at 1,140 sites.

AP reported Mehmet Oktay, mayor of Turkish city Marmaris, said that "sabotage'' for the fire there cannot be ruled out, while Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish presidential communications director, said that "comprehensive investigations" have been launched into the cause of the fires.

While wildfires are reportedly common in the country's Mediterranean and Aegean regions during the summer, some forest fires in the past have been blamed on arson or outlawed Kurdish militants.

(With inputs from AP and Reuters.)

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Topics:  Turkey   Forest Fires   Wildfires 

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