In the last two weeks of July of 2021, wildfires have burnt Turkey’s Southwestern coastal regions. Eight people and animals have been killed with the fire on 270 different forest fires in 53 villages.
According to Reuters, Turkish authorities are being accused of failing to prepare for the threat since they have spent only a fraction of the forest protection budget before wildfires erupted.
The heat intensity of the wildfires is four times higher than anything on record for Turkey, according to satellite data shared with the Guardian last week.
Here is a clip of before and after videos of the wildfires in a village near the town of Marmaris shared on Twitter.
Forest Protection Budget and Turkish Greens’ Response
According to Politico, the Turkish government invested in several pilot programs to improve climate adaptation. However, Turkey’s state forestry agency reported that their spending was less than 2% of the 200 million Turkish Lira which has been set aside for the program.
Turkish Green Party called on both the government and the opposition to take action. Greens’ spokesperson ,Emine Ozkan, stated “As long as the government and the opposition do not create proper policies and do not define this crisis for what it is, a climate crisis, we will continue to see such mismanagement and such catastrophes,” according to Yeşil Gazete.
In an interview with the Yesil Gazete, she added that authorities should examine other countries who have experienced wildfires to assess Turkey’s management of the forest fires, calling “The negligence of responsible institutions and failed structures of prevention programs shows Turkey’ failure to manage this situation”.(source)
Help from the German Greens?
On August 9th, 2021, German Greens have called for assistance from their government for the ongoing fires in Turkey.
A spokesperson in German Greens Omid Nouripour said “During this struggle, Turkey needs all the help it can get.” according to a Turkish source called Yeni Posta. He mentioned that the political disagreements between the two countries will not interfere with the assistance provided, adding “During the natural disasters, there is no such thing as assistance only to the EU countries.”