Turkey sent Monday a water bombing aircraft to Greece, which is battling wildfires near Athens that are sweeping through huge swathes of forest, destroying homes, forcing thousands to flee.
The plane, which is capable of carrying 4.5 tons of water, has taken off from the southern Turkish province of Antalya, an official from the forest management said.
It will depart for Greece after refuelling in the Foça district of the Aegean province of İzmir, the state-run Anatolian Agency quoted Nurettin Doğan as saying.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also spoke with his Greek counterpart Dora Bakoyannis and offered help to put out the fire threatening the countrys capital, Athens.
Davutoğlu told Bakoyannis that the Turkish government and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are closely monitoring the disaster and have offered assistance to the Greek government, sources told Anatolian Agency.
Bakoyannis said the Greek government would be pleased if civil protection teams from the two countries could cooperate in battling the fire and that Greece urgently needed fire-fighting planes, sources added.