Expelled villager allegedly behind arson induced forest fires on Mount Ida in Turkey
BALIKESİR – Doğan News AgencyA local banned by the villagers in the western province of Balıkesir’s Edremit district has been claimed to have initiated a series of forest fires that have recently raged across the Mount Ida (Kaz Dağları) area.
The man named Turan İdgü (35) was detained by the gendarmerie on Aug. 9 and following his testimony at the station, he was then referred to the court in Balıkesir as a suspected arsonist.
The claims came after the locals of the Avcılar village in the Edremit district told the authorities they have not been letting İdgü into the village on grounds that he damaged the beehives and farms in the area. İdgü was reported to have been forced to leave the Avcılar village about a year ago, after which he moved to another neighborhood in the district.
İdgü was hence claimed to have undertaken in an arson attack to burn the forests near the Avcılar village with the purpose of revenge. The suspect is also believed to have unnamed psychological problems and was living with his mother and father.
On Aug. 9, the area on Mount Ida between the Şahinderesi Canyon and the Avcılar village in the Edremit district was gripped with fires that broke out in four different spots.
The authorities were then notified at 12:12 p.m. regarding the fire, after which two firefighting aircraft, four helicopters, 24 sprinklers and two bulldozers were dispatched to the area. Thanks to an early intervention, the fire was extinguished on the same day without having spread extensively in the area. Rather than burning the trees, the fire damaged the forest vegetation covering eight hectares of land.
The officials thereafter announced they were investigating the possibility of arson behind the fires, which burnt down eight hectares of land.
In another fire that broke out again in the district on June 30, this time in the upper part of the Avcılar village, 20 hectares of lands were reduced to ashes. In that incident, the authorities had determined that the arsonist(s) had started the fire.