ANKARA - AFP
A woman and a teenaged girl were burnt to death in their homes when a forest fire spread to a village in the south of the country on Monday, officials and media reports said.
The blaze, which erupted in a pine forest in the Gulnar district of Mersin province, was fanned by a strong wind and damaged several houses in two villages, Anatolia news agency reported.
Authorities suspect that the blaze may have erupted after villagers burnt stubble, Mersin Governor Huseyin Aksoy told Anatolia.
The two victims were aged 17 and 67, he said, adding that five people were hospialised for smoke poisoning.
People were evacuated from several villages in the area.
Scores of firefighters were battling the blaze, but the wind prevented the authorities from using helicopters
Forest fires are common in Turkey as well as other Mediterranean countries during hot and arid summer months.
The Turkish authorities usually also consider the possibility of sabotage. In 2006, a radical Kurdish separatist group claimed responsibility for a series of fires in southern and western Turkey.