Erdogan Admits Turkey Doesn't Have A Single Firefighting Plane To Tackle Huge Wildfires

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Erdogan Admits Turkey Doesn't Have A Single Firefighting Plane To Tackle Huge Wildfires

Turkish President Recep Erdogan has admitted in a speech that Turkey does not have a single firefighting plane with which to tackle the wildfires that have been raging across the country. In recent weeks, Turkey has experienced its worst fires for decades as soaring temperatures ignited fires across the Mediterranean.


In a speech to reporters, Erdogan said:


"The THK [Turkish Aeronautical Association] does not have a plane that can be used. We are working with 45 helicopters. Apart from that, the number of our planes as of today has increased to five-six. There are planes which we have gotten from Russia and Ukraine. And another plane will be used from Azerbaijan."


It is thought that Turkey is now accepting such planes from Russia and several other countries, though questions must be asked as to why none were available, particularly given Turkey's huge military expenditure.


Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said in a statement:


"In our inventory, we do not have any firefighting plane or helicopter. This has always been the case. We have launched works for the purchase of planes to our inventory with the instruction of our President. The supplier of the current planes is the THK."


Adding:


"They [THK] are saying that they cannot renew the planes due to financial problems, but they could have renewed tha planes instead of using the money in other places. Since the planes are not renewed, they create problems. For example, three years ago, there was a plane [of THK] which landed on the water but could not take off again. So, we have moved on to helicopters and leasing planes from abroad. We have no problems with the THK, why should we?"


Opposition party, CHP, has criticised the president for his actions and his budgetary cuts. CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said of the situation:


"The planes are sitting idly, the pilots have been fired."


Large wildfires have also taken hold in neighbouring Greece with flames engulfing around Athens and homes in the outskirts being consumed by flames amid heat not experienced for decades. Air quality in Athens is now at a very poor level and government officials have told residents to stay in their homes across the city.


[h/t: duvaR]


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Thinking Humanity: Erdogan Admits Turkey Doesn't Have A Single Firefighting Plane To Tackle Huge Wildfires
Erdogan Admits Turkey Doesn't Have A Single Firefighting Plane To Tackle Huge Wildfires
Turkish President Recep Erdogan has admitted in a speech that Turkey does not have a single firefighting plane with which to tackle the wildfires that
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