Turkey: What’s happening and how to help?

According to Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli, violent winds have fanned more than 50 wildfires this Wednesday in Turkey’s Mediterranean and southern Aegean region, imposing the death toll on at least 4 victims among whom were a married Russian couple and an 80-year-old man.

Wildfires in Turkey’s rainforests are commonplace during the arid summer months, but those recent ones were exceptional. Satellite data reports reveal that the heat intensity of those wildfires reached about 20 gigawatts, which is considered four times higher than any on the record for Turkey. Planes from Ukraine and Russia joined in to tackle the flames, and Minister Pakdemirli insisted that the situation is going towards a positive direction, although 14 wildfires are still ablaze in the southern coast region, and over 4000 tourists and staff members had to evacuate all the hotels and villages in the region and vicinities.

Residents of the afflicted areas reported that they have never borne witness to anything like it. One farmer testified that his livestock was lost in the fires and that he was almost killed himself. The culprit behind those wildfires breaking out is still a debated topic: some assume that this tragedy is a logical forethought because not only is it a common occurrence in Turkey, but also the phenomenon of climate change and its ensuing consequences on America and Europe all pointed towards another catastrophic event elsewhere on the planet. Others suspect that outlawed Kurdish militants PKK may have launched arson attacks on the coast.

How to help?

  • Like any other cause, there is a number of staple ways in which you can help Turkey and its residents:
  • Educate yourself on the topic: Look up news articles related to the wildfires. It would be a great addition to your knowledge if you also look into Turkey’s international position and which countries are its allies and which are its rivals.
  • Share on social media: This increases the likelihood of the incident reaching a larger volume of social media consumers and so you’ll encourage more people to read on the topic.
  • Rally your community to contribute to the cause by launching online fundraisers: That way you’ll all push money towards reparation and reconstruction work in the area and thus many people will be able to resume their livelihood activities. Hotels will start running again and villages will find a place to live.
  • Pray for Turkey: This one goes without saying. If you witness a tragedy before your eyes, pray for the one who fell victims and wish them an easy recovery to their previous state of being.

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