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Turkey should have landed firefighting craft in South for safety reasons

25 June 2016

During the fire which occurred in the Besparmak Mountains, in 1995, the TRNC rejected the offer of help from South Cyprus, journalist Sami Ozuslu recalls. He writes that in 2016 Turkey offered help to the Republic of Cyprus to extinguish the fire on the Troodos Mountains and President Anastasiades first rejected the offer but later asked them to come over.

He notes: “However, this did not happen, because ‘diplomacy’ was activated. The result: On the one hand Troodos burned, is gone. On the other hand, however, the expectations for a solution in this country have been turned into ashes”.

Ozuslu adds that a friend of his, who is an experienced pilot and captain, told him that the pilots of firefighting airplanes do a dangerous job and that many firefighting helicopters and airplanes crash whilst extinguishing fires. “He stressed that it is of vital importance for the pilots to be managed by a single centre in an operation in which tens of helicopters and airplanes participate”, says Ozuslu noting that his pilot friend told him that this is the way aircraft missions are planned to ensure that they fly as safely as possible.

According to Ozuslu, the pilot said: “Of course this coordination would be conducted in the south since the fire was in the south and the airports of Larnaka or Paphos would be used. Anyone participating in such an effort should have complied with the rules and the instructions. The Turkish planes should have also participated in this. What would be the meaning of landing at Ercan and throw water randomly here and there on the Troodos Mountains? Flights without coordination could create danger for the other airplanes. Unfortunately, this mentality leads us nowhere”, he concludes.

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