Yilmaz Denies Turkish Involvement in Greek Forest Fires

Posted December 27th, 2011 at 3:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Former Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz has denied reports in a Turkish newspaper that implied his country's government had a part in forest fires that hit Greece in the mid-1990's.

The article said that Mr. Yilmaz claimed another former Turkish prime minister used discretionary funds allocated for security to set Greek forests on fire. He added that the information was not revealed because it was a state secret.

However, Mr. Yilmaz said Tuesday the report in Turkey's Birgun newspaper had misquoted him and that the allegations were untrue. He clarified his reported remarks by saying he was actually speaking about unsubstantiated allegations of Greek involvement in Turkish forest fires.

The Greek foreign ministry described the allegations of Turkish involvement in Greek forest fires as “serious.” In addition, Greece's Supreme Court prosecutor launched an emergency inquiry to reopen investigations into the suspected arson fires.