* Photo: Hakan Firik / Anadolu Agency (AA)
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Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli shared information on the inventory of vehicles used in firefighting efforts in Turkey.
Responding to parliamentary question from Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy of Izmir Atila Sertel on the number of vehicles used in firefighting efforts, Minister Pakdemirli said that in 2021, 3 amphibians, 39 helicopters firefighters, 6 leading helicopters, 4 unmanned aerial vehicles, 1,078 sprinklers, 281 water distribution vehicles, 2,270 first response vehicles, 181 excavators and 501 other construction equipment were used.
According to the minister’s response to the main opposition deputy, the capacities of the helicopters range from 2,500 to 10.00 liters.
Payment based on guaranteed flight hours
In response to Atilla Sertel’s question about payments based on flight hours and guaranteed payments, Minister Pakdemirli said:
The prices of these helicopters depend on their technical characteristics and capabilities. The guaranteed flight hour is a widely used method for the rental of air vehicles around the world. Since the first day when helicopters and planes were rented, the guaranteed flight hour method has been used in our country.
Temporary non-permanent workers
Pakdemirli also responded to Sertel’s question about “the number of forest workers working as permanent and temporary staff”. According to Bekir Pakdemirli, 8,582 permanent workers and 8,140 temporary workers work for the General Directorate of Forests.
The minister left Sertel’s question unanswered as to why temporary workers are not employed as permanent staff, just as he left the question of whether there is work to ensure this unanswered.
Atila Sertel from CHP stressed that forestry workers should be employed as permanent staff. He said: “In Turkey there is money for all tenders, mainly for the big five. As far as forestry workers are concerned, there is no money, no staff … It is a great injustice.
Forest fires in Turkey
The year 2021 was marked by major forest fires in Turkey. The forest fires that broke out in Manavgat in Antalya in the Mediterranean region on July 28, 2021 have spread to the Mediterranean, Aegean, Marmara, western Black Sea and Anatolia regions. from the south-east.
As of August 12, 2021, 299 forest fires had broken out in 49 of Turkey’s 81 provinces. Eight people lost their lives in fires. No data has been published on the number of animals that died.
While the three firefighters leased from Russia failed to put out the fires, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Russia, Spain, Croatia, Qatar and Iran have offered personnel and vehicle support to Turkey.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry did not use the planes of the Turkish Aeronautical Association (THK), which drew criticism.
As the fires spread to residential areas, hundreds of villages and towns were evacuated, thousands taken to a safe place by land and sea.
In Manavgat alone, 56,663 hectares of land were razed while the number was 12,935 in Marmaris, 11,898 in Bodrum, 1,629 in Köyceğiz and 685 in Gündoğmuş, making a total of 83,810 hectares.
These fires razed an area over 15% of Istanbul’s territory and the size of 118,000 football fields.
According to data from the Directorate General of Forests of Turkey, 68,579 fires occurred in Turkey between 1988 and 2019 and razed an area of 336,824 hectares, which means that on average 2,143 fires were declared and 10,526 hectares of land were burned each year. (HA / SD)