Desperate locals try to put out wildfire in Turkey

With flames licking at their doorsteps, locals in the Turkish resort town of Marmaris have stepped in to take matters into their own hands.

Walking up and down the hills ferrying water, the locals are angry that there have not been enough helicopters and planes used to contain the fires burning since Wednesday (July 28).

"This cannot be done without aerial support my friend. What can we do?"

The Turkish government faced fresh criticism of its handling of the disaster on Monday (August 2).

Firefighters have taken control of 125 of the 132 fires, with 16 planes and 51 helicopters tackling them from the air in an operation also involving some 850 firefighting vehicles and more than 5,000 personnel, according to the Forestry Minister.

Their work was being hindered though, as temperatures soared above 40 degrees Celsius paired with strong winds and very low humidity of around 8% - and Marmaris residents like Gulhan, have now found themselves in the line of fire.

"My friend, whoever is coming must come, for God's sake. For God's sake, this cannot work without a helicopter. What are we supposed to do, fly in the air? You see this, we are here as the entire village, from the locals to others. We didn't run away or anything, so the government must see this and also not run away. It must send some of its planes here."

The EU said it had helped mobilize three fire-fighting planes on Sunday (August 1), one from Croatia and two from Spain, after Turkey activated a disaster response scheme to request help from other European countries.

President Erdogan's communications director rejected criticism of the government's handling of the situation.

He slammed a social media campaign calling for foreign help for Turkey, describing most information about the fires on the platforms as "fake news".

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