Turkey: Wildfire death toll rises to 8 as blaze threatens beach resorts

ITV News Correspondent Helen Keenan has spoken to those fleeing from the fires

Wildfires in Turkey have killed as least eight people, after authorities discovered more bodies in the wake of the flames.

The blaze threatened holiday beach resorts on Sunday, with residents and tourists fleeing the danger in Antayla and Mugla on small boats.

The coastguard and two navy ships waited further out to sea on hand for a larger evacuation if needed.

'It's just horrible - we know people who have lost absolutely everything'

Debbie Örer, who has lived in Turkey since 2004, was evacuated from her village with her husband.

She's hoping her home will be safe as it's situated in the middle of the village, but she worries for those on the outskirts.

"I have friends who are right up against the forest and obviously it's a huge worry for them that they're going to lose everything," she said.

"It's just horrible - we know so many people in some of the villages on the top of the mountain, where they've just lost absolutely everything.

"How do you start again when you're in your 70s and you've lived your whole life in this one place and then it's just completely gone?"

Turkish news agency DHA said the bodies of a Turkish-German couple were found in their burned home in Manavgat, Antalya, bringing the overall death toll to eight in the fires that began on Wednesday.

Fires were also encroaching on a village near the town and villagers were evacuating in trucks.

Earlier on Sunday police used water cannons, usually used to control riots, to assist helicopters and fire trucks in a village of Mugla’s popular district of Bodrum to fight fires.

Tourists flee from Turkey's seaside resorts as fire comes nearer. Credit: AP

Turkish television showed fires had reignited after being extinguished earlier, with blazes and smoke approaching a village. Civilians were trying to help.

Fires were also encroaching on a village near the town of Manavgat, where helicopters were trying to extinguish blazes.

Panic-struck tourists were evacuated on Saturday from some hotels in Bodrum as a fire rolled down the hill towards the seashore.

Wildfires rip through Turkey

The health minister, Fahrettin Koca, said at least 27 people affected by the fires were still receiving treatment in hospitals while hundreds of others had been released.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan toured some of the affected areas on Saturday and promised to help residents rebuild their homes.

But social media users criticised him for arriving in Marmaris in a massive convoy that caused more traffic and for having bags of tea thrown from his bus to people gathered to hear him speak.

While Turkish authorities are investigating whether the fires may have started as an act of “sabotage” by outlawed Kurdish militants, experts mostly point to the climate crisis, as seen by the drastic increases in temperatures, along with accidents caused by people.

A woman tries to stop an advancing wildfire in Turkey Credit: AP

A heatwave across southern Europe, fed by hot air from Africa, has led to wildfires across the Mediterranean, including in Italy and Greece.

Temperatures in Turkey and nearby countries in south-east Europe are expected to climb to 42C (107F) on Monday in many cities and towns.

Antalya was already registering 41C (106F) on Sunday.

Meanwhile, in Turkey’s eastern Van province, floods over the weekend destroyed at least six houses after a small river overflowed amid heavy rains.

Villagers were told to quickly leave their homes and climb to higher locations.