A group consisting of 100 people has blocked a road and attempted to lynch three people in a vehicle in the Efeler district of the Aegean province of Aydın.
The mob headed to the area after hearing rumors that a car from the northwestern province of Balıkesir arrived to start fires, Mesopotamia Agency reported on Aug. 4.
After blocking the road, the group attempted to lynch the three individuals in the car until security forces arrived and detained those in the vehicle.
Local reports said that the mob attacked the vehicle due to thinking that it had materials to start a fire.
The rumors on social media began last week when the fires first erupted, which claimed that militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) are responsible for burning the forests.
The accounts, seemingly nationalists, have been spreading unsubstantiated rumors about militants being seen with Molotov cocktails around fire-hit areas, which have repeatedly been denied by authorities.
The reports are seen to be fueling the racist sentiments against the Kurds in the areas affected by the fires, with people seen to be out on the streets chasing anyone they deem "suspicious" after checking their IDs.
Journalist Metin Yoksu described how their road was blocked by civilians in the southern province of Muğla.
Yatağan Milas yolunda yolumuzu kesip biz ve oradaki insanlara GBT yapmaya çalıştılar dün gece hatta video kaydına başlamadan önce bana dahi basın kartı sordu bu şahıs. İnsanlar Ören'in tahliyesine yakınlarına koştururken bunlar yaşandı bu açıkca suçtur! pic.twitter.com/btKG0EfmD9— metinyoksu (@metinyoksu) August 5, 2021
"This is clearly a crime," Yoksu said on Twitter, as he also shared a video of a man repeatedly claiming that it's his duty to protect the forests.
The man, who said his name was Muharrem Duygu, was also heard saying that he got "suspicious" because the license plate of the car belonged to another province.