Fire kills 11, injures 78 in southeast Turkey

The fire that started in the Çınar district of southeastern Diyarbakır province spread to Mardin province, resulting in the deaths of 11 people and injuries to 78 after reaching residential areas.

Duvar English

In the fire that broke out between the Çınar district of Diyarbakır and the Mazıdağı district of Mardin in southeastern Turkey on June 20, 11 people lost their lives and 78 were injured, according to the Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality.

The fire started as a result of stubble burning, which is a common and dangerous practice in the country resulting in many fires, particularly in the summer. 

The fire was extinguished in the early hours of June 21.

The Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality's Directorate of Rural Development reported that the fire affected a 66-kilometer area, according to satellite observations.

Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality co-mayors Serra Bucak and Doğan Hatun visited the hospitals to express condolences to the families of the victims and see the injured.

Making a statement on the fire, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party said, "This disaster has once again shown that the state and the government are not on the side of the people in any disaster and catastrophe. They are absent in earthquakes, absent in fires, and absent in flood disasters. However, we have the power to overcome all kinds of disasters together with our people!"

People living in the area where the fire broke out stated that there were shepherds and animals in the area and they could not reach them because of the scorching fires. 

In an area densely populated with agricultural land, hundreds of animals were burned to death, and many more were injured.

Villagers also expressed their reaction to the arrival of the fire-extinguishing helicopter late in the morning.

Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç announced that an investigation had been launched into the fire, while the Diyarbakır Bar Association filed a criminal complaint for an effective investigation into the cause of the fire and the alleged delay in intervention.

The Dicle Electrical Company, the grid operator of the region, denied allegations that the fire was caused by an electrical mishap. 

The company statement read, "Some media outlets reported that the fire was caused by electrical sources, but our investigations determined that the fire did not originate from power transmission lines. In fact, in some of the specified areas, we found that power transmission lines did not even pass through the regions where the fire occurred."