Istanbul: As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prepares to inspect one of the worst-hit areas and provide moral support, the death toll from the flash flood in Turkey on Friday soared to 27 people.
Just as the Black Sea region in northern Turkey was devastated, the affected country was winning control of hundreds of wildfires that killed eight people and destroyed large tracts of forest along the scenic southern coast.
Turkey also suffered another bout of flooding in the northeastern province of Rize last month that killed six.
Scientists in the world believe that natural disasters like Turkey are becoming more intense and frequent due to global warming and climate change.
Two years before Turkey’s next scheduled general election, they also posed a severe challenge to Erdogan.
The powerful Turkish leader was severely condemned on social media for throwing tea bags at locals when he visited a fire-ravaged area when wildfires first spread in late July.
Opinion polls show that climate is the top priority of as many as 7 million Gen Z members, and their votes require Erdogan to extend his rule to the third decade in the 2023 vote.
So far, Erdogan has hardly talked about flooding.
“I extend my condolences to the relatives of our 17 compatriots who lost their lives,” he said. The death toll on Thursday night was still 17.
His office said Erdogan was talking on the phone with regional leaders and promised to provide all available assistance to the state.