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Fire-Ravaged Turkey Sends Message of Solidarity to Greece

Greece Turkey
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias (left) and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu. Credit: Nikos Dendias / Twitter

Turkey, which is still fighting to contain its own massive wildfires, sent a message of solidarity to Greece on Friday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu had a phone call with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias on Friday afternoon to express his sentiments.

The Turkish official sent a message of solidarity and support to Greece, which is battling against wildfires on multiple fronts both on the mainland and on its islands.

”I spoke by phone to Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who called to express solidarity following the wildfires in Greece,” Dendias said in a tweet on Friday.

”I thanked my counterpart and we both stated that we are ready to provide assistance to each other, provided we have previously set under control the wildfires raging in our respective countries,” the Greek minister noted.

Turkey has been battling a series of wildfires that have burned massive areas of forests on its western and southern shores in the Aegean and the Mediterranean.

According to Turkish authorities, a total of eight people have died so far in the country as a result of the wildfires.

Assistance from EU, Switzerland, Israel Arrives in Greece

Aid from EU member-states including France, Romania, and Sweden as well as other nations, such as Switzerland and Israel, is coming to Greece to strengthen the fight against the fires in Attica, Ilia and Evia.

Cyprus is also helping through the European Civil Protection Mechanism, providing Greece with 40 firefighters in Varympompi and two water-dropping airplanes on Crete.

A total of 83 firefights and two airplanes arrived from France, two airplanes from Sweden, 112 firefighters from Romania, and three helicopters from Switzerland.

Israel also announced on Thursday that it will send 15 firefighters and large amounts of firefighting chemicals to Greece.

Strong Winds Expected to Worsen Greece, Turkey Wildfires

Winds are now expected to be much stronger compared to the conditions that prevailed across Greece and the eastern Mediterranean during the previous days.

These northerly winds will drop the temperature significantly, which won’t exceed 39 degrees Celsius on Friday in most parts of the mainland.

However, these winds will make the efforts of the firefighting teams across the nation much more difficult.

Winds in the region of Attica will reach 5-6 on the Beaufort scale (up to 31 mph) on Friday, with stronger gusts expected locally. This is a significant change compared to a maximum of the 2-3 on the Beaufort scale that was prevailing on Wednesday and Thursday.

In the meantime, the air quality in Athens remains extremely low due to the cocktail of extremely high temperatures and smoke from the nearby wildfires.

For this reason, the Greek Ministry of Health along with the Medical Association of Athens issued a guide for citizens to follow.

According to the guide, vulnerable groups are strongly advised by the Greek authorities to stay indoors, shut windows, and avoid unnecessary travel at all costs.

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