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  Wednesday, October 16, 2019
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Turkish authorities have said that forest fires blazing in south Turkey could have been deliberately set by Kurdish separatists
Turkish authorities have said that forest fires blazing in south Turkey could have been deliberately set by Kurdish separatists, local media reported Monday. The fires have already consumed nearly 1,500 hectares over the past two days, including near popular resorts on the Aegean coast, forcing the evacuation of some 300 foreign tourists. "The fires extend continuously from Kahramanmaras, in southeast Turkey to Manavgat, in the south. They erupted simultaneously, which leads us to believe they were deliberately set," Turkey's Environment and Forestry Minister Osman Pepe told the newspaper Hurriyet. Hurriyet reported that ten people have been detained near the resort of Bodrum, on the Aegean, for suspected arson. Turkey has been in the grip of a severe heat wave over the past few days, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the shade in many areas. A local official said that up to 25 separate fires are burning at the moment.
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