CHP slams gov’t for failure in combatting wildfires

CHP slams gov’t for failure in combatting wildfires

CHP slams gov’t for failure in combatting wildfires

The main opposition leader has criticized the government for not developing an efficient mechanism in coordination to combat the wildfires, stressing the need to establish a strong firefighter fleet as soon as possible.

“It’s true that fire broke out in many places at the same time. It’s also true that everyone wanted to fight [to extinguish]. There is a need to struggle in coordination, but we see that there is no coordination,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, chair of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), said at a workshop on the forest fires in the Aegean province of Muğla over the weekend.

Kılıçdaroğlu visited the areas hit by last month’s devastating forest fires and met with local authorities and CHP mayors. He criticized the government for excluding the opposition mayors from the efforts to put out the fires, stressing these kinds of disasters and natural events should be evaluated beyond politics.

“If there is a mistake we should correct it altogether. The forests are our forests, the waters are our waters, and the living creatures in the forests are ours,” he said, expressing his gratitude to those who exerted efforts to protect the forests from wildfires.

“We should think what sort of measures should be taken against a disaster before it occurs,” he said, recalling that academics have long been warning of negative impacts of climate change on Turkey. “Who had to take precautions against all these? Those who run the state. They must see that a disaster is looming because of climate change,” he suggested.

The most important mistake of the government was to cripple Turkey’s existing firefighter fleet under the Turkish Aerial Institution, KIlıçdaroğlu said. “Are you prepared to put out fires? Do you have a strong enough fleet? Do you have planes, helicopters? If you don’t have, you can’t quench the fire,” he said.