Dardanelles Strait closed to ship traffic due to forest fire

Turkey’s Dardanelles Strait has been closed to one-way ship traffic due to an ongoing forest fire that has been burning for a day. Last year, the forests around the strait were also significantly affected by fires.

Duvar English

The fire that started in the afternoon of July 18 in the Eceabat district of Çanakkale province, located on the historical Gallipoli Peninsula, could not be extinguished for hours due to strong winds.

The Transport and Infrastructure Ministry on June 19 announced that ship traffic in the Dardanelles Strait has been temporarily suspended in one direction, north-south.

Agriculture and Forestry Ministry İbrahim Yumaklı announced that two surrounding villages were evacuated as a precautionary measure and 530 people were placed in the guesthouse of the ministries.

Over 575 hectares of land was damaged by fire as of the early hours of June 19.

Minister Yumaklı said, "The temperature in Çanakkale will be five degrees Celsius above seasonal normal. Our farmers who will harvest in the region will not be allowed to continue after 11.00 a.m. (local time) for the next five days.”

It has been reported that the fire in the province originated on farming land where crop residues were being burned, which is a common yet dangerous practice in Turkey.

Forest fires in Uşak and Denizli provinces in the Aegean region have been ongoing as of June 19 as well. The fire in Izmir started on June 18 was brought under control after burning throughout the night.

Last year, Turkey suffered from many forest fires throughout the summer particularly due to high temperature and excessive drought. One of the areas most affected by the fires were around the Dardanelles Strait.