Arsonist behind Marmaris wildfires arrested

Arsonist behind Marmaris wildfires arrested

Arsonist behind Marmaris wildfires arrested

The arsonist who started the wildfires late on June 21 in the southwestern province of Muğla’s Marmaris district was detained late on June 23 and arrested early June 24.

The 34-year-old Sacit Ayhan admitted that he started the fires after getting furious about a “commercial dispute inside the family.”

“My family was going to give me land. But then, they renounced. Then we quarreled,” Ayhan said in his first police testimony.

“Under the influence of alcohol, I bought gasoline in plastic bottles, went to the forest and started the fire,” he added.

Early on June 23, the second day of the fight against the wildfires, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said a suspect was identified. Hours after, the minister noted that he was captured at the Küfre Bay, where he started the fires.

According to local reports, he was drunk when he was nabbed and had two plastic bottles filled with 5 liters of gasoline in each.

Just after the fires broke out, the security units found an abandoned motorcycle at the Küfre Bay. From the plate number, the police identified the suspect who has five different criminal records.

His mobile phone gave the last signal at Küfre Bay at 11:30 p.m. on June 21, some three hours after the fires broke.

While monitoring the suspect’s social media accounts, the police saw a video on his Facebook account showing him threatening his family members with a “property lawsuit.”

Security units worked in two teams and questioned nearly 4,000 people and searched vehicles before they found the culprit Ayhan.

In his first testimony, Ayhan said he wanted to kill himself by “jumping into the fire.”

“But, I could not make that bold step. The fires got bigger in a short time. I ran away with the plastic bottles.”

While the arsonist was arrested, the fight against the wildfires continued on the third day.

Agriculture and Forestry Minister Vahit Kirişçi said the fires were under control “on a vast scale,” but the winds that will blow late on June 24 “could be a problem.”

“It is hard to say what the winds may cause,” Kirişçi noted while answering a question if the fires could be put out over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Soylu also pointed out the “wind risk.”

“There is only one place left. The biggest risk is the winds,” he added.

For security concerns, the police closed the highway between Marmaris and Datça.

Türkiye, Wildfire,