In Turkey, the number of forest fires that broke out last Wednesday rose further to 107 over the weekend.

According to the government, 98 of them could be brought under control.

Six people were killed, more than three hundred were injured, and dozen communities had to be evacuated.

The investigation into the causes of the fire continued, said President Tayyip Erdogan during a visit to the particularly hard-hit Manavgat region east of Antalya, where the first fires broke out.

All possibilities, including arson, would be investigated.

He assured that the burned areas would be reforested and not built on.

Erdogan promised quick help in rebuilding the destroyed houses as well as compensation to the farmers.

Rainer Hermann

Editor in politics.

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Matthias Rüb

Political correspondent for Italy, the Vatican, Albania and Malta based in Rome.

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4,000 firefighters and 45 helicopters were deployed to fight the fires.

President Erdogan thanked his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin for sending helicopters and fire-fighting planes.

Because Turkey has no fire fighting planes despite the fires that break out every year.

At the weekend it became apparent that the forest fires were subsiding.

Due to the unchanged high temperatures of 40 degrees and strong north winds, however, new fires broke out occasionally, for example near the seaside resort of Bodrum, where residents and holidaymakers had to be brought to safety.

Climate change is the main cause

While arson has mostly been the cause of the forest fires in recent years, this year climate change is the most important cause, said Utku Perktas from Hacettepe University in Ankara.

The number of large forest fires is increasing in Turkey, said the Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Bekir Pakdemirli.

In the past year eight large forest fires were registered, but they broke out at six different times.

However, since Wednesday there have been ten major forest fires lasting at least three days.

Pakdemirili attributed this to unusually high temperatures combined with the strong winds.

Fires in southern Italy too

Southern Italy also continues to fight numerous fires. To fight the forest fires in Sicily, the Italian civil defense has relocated the country's entire fleet of fire-fighting aircraft to the Mediterranean island. Authority chief Fabrizio Curcio called for the islands of Sardinia and Sicily as well as the south of the country because of the extreme heat, the highest level of fire because of the risk of fire, while he warned of further severe thunderstorms with heavy rain and possible floods in northern Italy. Curcio described the situation in Sicily as serious, in some places it was "disastrous".

The fire brigade and civil defense were there over the weekend fighting the flames. Temperatures of up to 46 degrees and strong winds also fueled the fires. In the area around the port city of Catania in the east of the island, the situation was temporarily out of control on Friday. A good 150 guests at a lido that had been trapped in the flames had to be brought across the sea to safety by the rescue workers. Catania Airport had to temporarily cease operations due to the heavy smoke development.

Sicily Regional President Nello Musumeci complained that investigators believe that many of the fires were started by arsonists. The destruction of the forest stand is irreversible in some places. According to media reports, forest stands are also set on fire with the intention of building photovoltaic systems on the "cleared" areas. "Since the beginning of the year we have lost around 8,000 hectares of forest in Sicily due to fire," said Giovanni Salerno, Sicilian regional head of civil defense, the newspaper Repubblica. Of the fires that led to this destruction, “99 percent started willfully”.

Many fires broke out in Greece due to the drought. At least 16 people were treated for respiratory problems in hospitals on the Peloponnese peninsula, the state television reported. Several houses near the small town of Egion were destroyed. The fires were contained on Sunday morning. Meanwhile, the "historic heat wave" - ​​of which many meteorologists speak - is continuing. After the heat had reached 43 degrees in the previous days, temperatures of 45 degrees were expected in Greece on Sunday. At night, the values ​​were above 30 degrees, especially in the metropolitan areas. Cities opened air-conditioned halls for residents who do not have air conditioning at home.