Forest fires are spreading near tourist destinations in Turkey. The disaster forced the authorities to evacuate the inhabitants of at least six villages. Ship traffic northbound along the Dardanelles Strait was also suspended.
The area around the Dardanelles Strait, connecting the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara, is a popular tourist destination. There are, among others, the ancient ruins of Troy, eagerly visited by travelers. For several days, local media have been reporting on forest fires spreading in this area.
Türkiye. Fires are burning forests
“Maritime traffic from the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara has been suspended due to an ongoing forest fire in the northwestern Turkish province of Canakkale,” Reuters reported. The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure announced the implementation of precautionary measures on Tuesday, August 22.
According to the Turkish shipping agency Tribeca, the direct cause of the suspension of the flow of ships was a fire-fighting operation using an aircraft that drew water from nearby reservoirs.
The ships were stranded
Tribeca said that as of 6:45 p.m. local time on Tuesday, 15 northbound vessels and 19 southbound vessels were stranded. Some of them are large units, measuring over 200 meters.
“Larger ships will wait to pass until Wednesday morning, which will allow them to navigate the strait in daylight,” Reuters reported. The machines will be diverted south, where traffic remains open.
Firefighting operations in Canakkale are ongoing
“Tugs are prepared to intervene if the fire approaches the seashore, providing additional support to ongoing firefighting operations,” the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure said. The AFAD rescue service reported that crews of 10 specialized planes and 26 helicopters were also trying to control the fire.
Ibrahim Yumakli, Turkish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, said that the disaster forced the authorities to evacuate six villages. The Turkish television station NTV reported that the fire was also approaching the hospital and the university campus. For safety reasons, the authorities decided to close the local highway.