REFERANS - ANKARA
The greatest forest fire in the history of Turkey's southern province Antalya may have been caused by human agency rather than damaged electrical grids. The director of Turkey's Electricity Distribution Corporation, or TEDAŞ, said in an interview with business daily Referans Sunday that a witness agreed to testify regarding a fire started by restaurant workers. �It is not true that the fire was started by damaged electricity lines,� , Haşim Keklik maintained.
�The witness is a driver for a tourism operator,� Keklik said and noted that the witness, known only as �H.B.,� notified the authorities. Keklik claimed that H.B. warned the restaurant workers, who started the fire for cooking purposes, and alerted the gendarmerie and the fire notification center. �Intervention forces arrived only after the fire had started,� underlined Keklik, complaining about the indifference of authorities.
He argued that the prosecutor's office has the contact information of the witness, but no had information arrived on whether he was summoned to testify. More than 4,000 hectares of forest were engulfed in the fire that started Thursday, along with dozens of village houses.