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Wildfires storm Turkey's coastal resort towns, forcing mass evacuations

Forest fires continued on Sunday to storm Turkey's south and southwestern coastal resort towns, forcing evacuations of several villages and tourism facilities. The blaze in the Manavgat district of the Mediterranean province of Antalya reached Sirtkoy village, and authorities ordered the evacuation of the residents, press reports said. "We have been on high alert at night for not allowing the flames to threaten the residential homes. But the strong wind diverted the blaze toward our homes. We couldn't do anything," a village resident told the NTV broadcaster. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced that seven people have been killed and 507 others affected by the fire in Manavgat, which hit the area on Wednesday. Meanwhile, many residents and tourists have been evacuated by Coast Guard boats and private yachts in Bodrum, an Aegean resort town of the Mugla Province, after a fresh blaze that erupted in the Mazi neighborhood. Firefighters in Marmaris, another resort town of Mugla, have been battling the blaze still raging in the area. Authorities ordered the evacuation of the Turunc neighborhood. Some 111 fires that broke out in the past five days in Turkey had been contained by Sunday morning, according to Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli. He said six fires continue.

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