President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said that Turkey has arrested a person allegedly responsible for starting the ongoing forest fires in the country.
"There is one arrestee in Milas. If this is an act of sabotage, then it is our duty to punish those responsible," Erdogan said during a speech at a response center in the Mugla province."It is our duty to find those who burned our forests. By almighty's wish, Turkey will soon erase the traces of these fires," Erdogan said in a tweet (roughly translated).
Wildfires continued to cause devastation in Turkey as the President declared the affected regions "disaster areas."
Turkish emergency forces continued to battle massive forest fires for a fourth consecutive day, Erdogan tweeted: "We have declared our regions affected by forest fires as 'Disaster Areas Affecting General Life.'
We will continue to take all necessary steps to heal our nation's wounds, compensate for its losses, and improve its opportunities even better than before.
"DW News reported that out of 98 fires that have broken out in numerous provinces since Wednesday, 88 have been brought under control. The fires are particularly serious on the Turkish Mediterranean coast.
Many regions and hotels have been evacuated and tourists, unable to use roads due to the blazes, were brought to safety by boats.
At least four people have been killed so far and 183 injured in wildfires in southern Turkey, forcing the evacuation of villages and hotels, as per media reports.
Turkey COVID-19 updates:
Turkey on Saturday registered 22,332 new COVID-19 cases, raising its tally of infections to 5,727,045, according to its health ministry. The death toll from the virus in Turkey rose by 79 to 51,332, while 5,107 more people recovered in the last 24 hours.
A total of 259,196 tests were conducted over the past day, it said. Turkey has started mass COVID-19 vaccination on January 14 after the authorities approved the emergency use of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine.
More than 40.98 million people have received their first doses of the vaccine, while over 27.26 million had their second doses. Turkey has so far administered over 73.13 million doses including the third booster jabs.
(With inputs from ANI)