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Fires in Turkey: We translate a thread shared on twitter. No additional comments, for archival purposes.

1. HOW THEY BURNED US…
I am going to list what we have lived though during 10 days, one after the other, while the country was on fire. So there will be an archive, so those responsible are not forgotten, so that we don’t forget the dishonor. Then we will see how difficult it is to maintain your mental health, in this country. So many scandals in 10 days.

2- By omitting to ready the firefighting planes, they let our forests burn down in full view of everyone. The THK planes were excluded from the call for tenders. Forest Minister Bekir Pakdemirli and President Erdoğan denigrated THK planes.

3- Days later, planes almost the same as those of the THK arrived, from other countries such as Spain and Croatia to fight the flames. But it was too late.

4- The THK planes they call “antiques” were filmed at THK University in Etimesgut. Even Cenap Aşçı, THK’s “parachuted” president declared that these planes could be prepared for flight, given a budget of 4 million dollars. Russia received 1,3 million Turkish lira per day for the rental of 3 planes. Two of them were defective.

5- Once again, Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu asked citizens to find a solution by saying “Our people are generous”. Once again, the “IBAN government” was immediately on the scene. 

6- While Southern Turkey was in flames, THK’s parachuted President, Cenap Aşçı, announced he had attended a wedding. 

7- It was later revealed how the property of THK, including its building Tayyare, was “confiscated” and how the institution was transformed into a feeding trough. It was revealed that Sezgin Baran Korkmaz, accused of money laundering, was a member of  THK University Board of Governors.

8- Sadık Karayel, a member of THK University’s Board of Governors was the AKP representative for the district of Altındağ. Allegations were made that Sadık Karayel had introduced Nejat Das, accused drug baron in the Bataklık trial to the head of police of the Sultanbeyli district, Necmetting Yüksek. Under every stone, the same names…

9- Erdoğan observed the fire zone from the air. While the public was expecting to see a plane fighting against the fire, news agencies were serving up photos of Erdoğan, inspecting from the air.

10- All the villagers he visited in Manavgat were wearing N95 masks. Erdoğan did not go for a condolence visit to the family of Şahin Akdemir, 25, who died bringing water to the forest men attempting to put out the fire. The family was brought to his feet.

11- In Marmaris, Erdoğan distributes tea to the people

12- The President of the Republic was also throwing tea on people in the street…

13- Roads were closed to allow the passage of Erdoğan’s rich convoy. The fire trucks had to wait.

14- The mayors of the region had been howling for days calling for the intervention of firefighting planes.

15- Forest Minister Bekir Pakdemirli who, through lack of planes caused the disappearance of the forests, blamed the mayors who had been howling for days “an aerial intervention is required!” in the fire zones. He spoke as if the fires had spread from the houses toward the forests.

16- While the fires had been ongoing for days, Erdogan accused the municipalities in the Ahaber program on the ATV. Then, he talked about fires in the United States, in Canada, in Russia. He said he had requested planes from Putin. Of course, no one asked where this powerlessness came from..

17- Meanwhile news broke of the nomination of Barış Saylak as Forestry Director in Muğla, a man who became candidate to the mayorship in Milas, passing from the CHP to the AKP [at the last elections]. The video showing him speaking with Erdoğan is fresh in everyone’s mind. Barış Saylak is an image incarnating the collapse of the institutions in the “presidential system”. 


18- While Barış Saylak was occupying the Directorship of the forests in Muğla, the mayor of Milas who beat him by an important margin at the elections, was spending sleepless nights and days fighting the fire. Moreover, he learned through the news reports  of the ministers’ visit to the fire zone.

19- The mayors responsible for the fire services were not invited to the disaster coordination centers. The authorities did not even inform the mayors. [Video Özgür Özel]


20- People carrying water in pails and fighting the flames at the peril  of their lives, were powerless.

21- But the regime’s allies produced information saying how Turkey was an example for the world in its fight against the fires. They were almost making fun of the suffering populations.


22- The allies didn’t care about the burning forests. While their country’s forests were burning, those whose tongues never stop repeating the word patriotism were only concerned with protecting those in power. They were on the scene with fake news.

23- They did not hesitate in leading the country into chaos the better to maintain their own power. İbrahim Karagül, the fired editorial director of Yeni Şafak, did not hesitate  to shine in the eyes of Reis in order to get his job back. [In his tweet İbrahim Karagül writes of the “dirty alliance” between the CHP and the PKK who would have “burned the forests”.]

24- Those who want to be rid of their responsibilities for political gain sowed the seeds of enmity. They provoked attempts at lynching. It turned out that the people in the video had come to the zone in order to extinguish the fire. Armed civilians proceeded to identity checks on the roads.

25- The commander of the gendarmerie attempting to keep chaos from erupting. [In the video, a gendarmerie commander is attempting to calm people down].

26- Süleyman Soylu [Minister of the Interior] saying: “Am I supposed to put out the fire with my hands?”

27- People fighting the fires with their hands. They fought for days without seeing a single plane or helicopter in the air.


28- While the fires were spreading, a reform to the bill opening up forests and shores to construction, was published in the Official Gazette under the signature of President Erdoğan. Society is right to worry about the pillaging for profit of the burned areas. The past is full of such examples.

29- In allied networks, the main news was not the disaster hitting the country but the fact that other areas in the world were burning. The aim being, simply, to stay in power.

30- When a few networks attempted to inform on the forest fires in the country, they were threatened by the RTÜK [Audiovisual Control Organization]. In a letter censuring them, it was requested that they show the work being done to extinguish the fires. The Communication Director Fahrettin Altun threatened the mayors on social networks through his salaried trolls.

31- As the fires went on, TOKİ [the Administration for the Development of  Subsidized Housing] shared plans on Twitter of future homes to be built. 

32- The mayor of Gündoğmuş, member of the AKP, Mehmet Özveren declared: “Citizens with old houses will soon be saying ‘I wish our house had burned down'”. Who cares about trees, plants, disappeared living beings?

33- During the Ahaber program on the ATV, Erdoğan spoke of lost lives through the price per kilo of white meat. Yet, citizens were devastated by their sorrow for the plants and the animals that burned along with the forests.


34- It was announced today that Turkey, where the firefighting planes were not prepared by investing 4 million dollars, will offer a 30 million dollar subsidy to Somalia. Meanwhile, the  parachuted president of THK – of which Erdoğan is the honorary president – launched a public appeal for donations for the firefighting planes..

35- An investigation has been opened against those who called for international aid on social networks. Yet, even Erdoğan had made a direct appeal to Putin for planes on ATV. And the Deputy General Director of the Forestry Directorate for his part said that they “accepted aid offered [by foreign countries] so as not to vex them.” 

36- And our people lost their life, fighting the fires. 8 persons died and dozens were wounded.

37- Of course, it isn’t over, these scandals covered here over 10 days never end. Let’s keep on adding what shows up, together. So they will not be forgotten.

38- And of course, the scandals are not over. They go on. Reporters from FOX, Halk TV and Reuters, covering the thermal central of Kemerli for days were not authorized into the region by the gendarmes. A special accreditation was in place, allowing only allies to go through.

39- Last night, a gang  ransacked the public television network in Marmaris İçmeler. Photos of one member of the gang, was shown to be  Mehmet Ağar [a known member of the mafia, close to those in power]. It was also revealed that the assailants belong to the AKP structure.


Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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