Wildfire briefly halts marine traffic on Turkish strait

Fire halts marine traffic on Turkish strait
Source: Twitter

Turkey on Tuesday briefly suspended shipping traffic along the Dardanelle Strait because of a windswept forest fire near the tourist town of Canakkale.

The emergency response service said it had evacuated seven villages and was preparing to help people leave three more on Turkey’s northwestern coast.

“The good news is that the winds seem to blowing away from the city centre of Canakkale,” Agriculture and Forestry Minister Ibrahim Yumakli said in televised comments.

Televised images showed clouds of thick smoke rolling over the edge of the seaside city on Tuesday afternoon.

The fire also forced the evacuation of a local university and closure of a highway running through the blaze.

The Turkish coast guard reopened southbound traffic along the strait after more than two dozen aircraft managed to largely contain the blaze by Tuesday night.

The Dardanelle Strait links the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara and is a popular tourist destination because it is also the site of the ancient ruins of Troy.

Turkey has been trying to modernise its emergency response service after being gripped by hugely destructive fires along its southern and western coasts in 2021.

Those flames scorched more than 200,000 hectares of pine forest and claimed at least nine lives.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came under intense criticism for his response to the disaster at the time.

Its magnitude raised the political importance of environmental issues in Turkey and prompted Erdogan to pushed through Ankara’s long-delayed ratification of the Paris Climate Accords.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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