Huge wildfire kills 11 people in southeastern Turkiye

June 22, 2024
Local people stand near the scene of a wildfire in Datca in Mugla province, Turkey July 13, 2022. — Reuters

CINAR, Turkiye: A huge wildfire killed 11 people and critically injured five as it ripped through Turkiye´s mainly Kurdish southeast overnight, the health minister said on Friday.


Hundreds of animals also perished or were badly injured in the blaze that roared across the dry landscape, sending flames into the night sky.

By morning the fire had left huge areas of charred and blackened land across the Diyarbakir and Mardin provinces.

“Eleven people lost their lives,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca wrote on X, adding that another 78 people suffered injuries and smoke inhalation.

Of that number, five people were being treated in intensive care, he said.

Turkiye´s pro-Kurdish DEM party, which won many municipalities in the southeast in the March local elections, criticised the government´s intervention as “late and insufficient”.

During the night, DEM had urged the government to send water bombers, saying fighting the blaze from the ground was “not enough”. An AFP reporter in Koksalan village in Diyarbakir province saw around 100 animals lying dead on the ground.

Residents told AFP around half their flock of about 1,000 sheep and goats had perished in the blaze.

A local vet, who did not want to give his name, confirmed around half the flock had died, and said many of those that survived were being treated for burns.