Villagers fined for forest fire

Villagers fined for forest fire

TEKİRDAĞ - Doğan News Agency
Villagers fined for forest fire

Savaş Akkaya shows a document that proves he was serving in the army. DHA photo

Some 38 people were fined on the grounds they failed to respond to a fire that broke out four months ago in the northwestern province of Tekirdağ’s Bağpınar village. The villagers have appealed to Malkara Penal Court of Peace for the cancellation of the fine.

A fire broke out in the woods of Bağpınar on Sept. 24 and was extinguished with the help of forest protection teams and citizens that same day. After a while, however, gendarmerie units notified Malkara Public Prosecutor’s Office that villagers were not involved in efforts to put out the fire.

After conducting an investigation into the complaint, 38 citizens were fined 270 Turkish Liras on the grounds that they had violated Article No. 69 of the Forestry Law because they failed to participate in efforts to extinguish the fire.

The fines were issued to a list of adult males in the village in 2011. However, Savaş Akkaya, who was in Ankara to perform his compulsory military service at the time of the fire and Recep Beçar, a visually-impaired villager, were also fined.

Fines were also issued against the village headman, Recep Akkaya and the village’s imam, Mustafa Çayır, who was on duty during the fire.

According to Çayır, those who helped extinguish the fire were also fined.