Turkey’s Coast Guard Helps Evacuate Tourists Amid Wildfires

Panicked tourists in Turkey hurried to the seashore to wait for rescue boats Saturday after being told to evacuate some hotels in the Aegean resort of Bodrum.

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Panicked tourists in Turkey hurried to the seashore to wait for rescue boats Saturday after being told to evacuate some hotels in the Aegean resort of Bodrum.

Coast guard units were leading the operation and authorities asked private boats and yachts to assist in evacuation efforts from the sea as new wildfires erupted.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the area Saturday, inspecting the damage from a helicopter.

Speaking from the town of Manavgat, Erdogan announced that the Turkish government would cover the rents for people affected by the fire and rebuild their homes.

He said taxes, social security and credit payments would be postponed for those affected and small businesses would be offered credit with zero interest.

Turkeys Health Minister said the death toll from wildfires raging in Turkey’s Mediterranean towns rose to six Saturday after two forest workers were killed.

Fires across Turkey since Wednesday have burned down forests and some settlements, encroaching on villages and tourist destinations and forcing people to evacuate.

The minister of agriculture and forestry, Bekir Pakdemirli, said Saturday that 88 of the 98 fires that broke out amid strong winds and scorching heat have been brought under control.

Neighborhoods affected by the fire in five provinces were declared disaster zones by Turkey’s emergency and disaster authority.

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