Tourist resorts in Turkey are surrounded by thick smoke

Footage posted on social media and television shows flame-retardant material being poured from helicopters on flaming buildings and fields in and around the seaside town of Manavgat.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said “all our citizens affected by the fire will be given all the support they need.” He added that an investigation had been launched into the disaster.

Turkish media reported that 62 people were hospitalized, mostly local people who had been poisoned by smoke, as well as three people who had been burned.

The flame is trying to quell hundreds of forestry workers with the help of helicopters and one plane.

According to local officials, four districts of Manavgat had to be evacuated, but the fire was partially controlled.

“It’s an incredibly poor scene,” Manavgat Mayor Sukru Sosen told CNN Turk.

It is not yet clear how many people were affected, but NTV reported that 20 homes with about 500 people burned in one part of the city.

However, the state Anatolian news agency denied initial reports that one local hospital had been evacuated evasively.

Balls of thick black smoke rose into the sky about 75 km east of the Turkish spa town of Antalya.

The coastal region around Antalya is a favorite summer vacation destination for European tourists, especially those from Russia and Eastern Europe.

Antalya Mayor Muhittin Bocek assured that the fire poses no threat to the resort.

“Fortunately, we did not record any deaths,” he told NTV, adding that the flames appeared to have flared in four areas at once.

“It could mean arson, but we don’t have clear information about it at the moment,” Bocek said.

Agriculture Minister Bekir Pakdemirli, for his part, confirmed that the fires had broken out in four places, but stressed that it was not yet possible to say what had caused the flames.

He added that the fire is fueled by winds of up to 50 km per hour.

“Now our job is to put out the fire,” the minister said on television. “An investigation will be carried out and the reasons will be determined later.”

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