Istanbul mayor on vacation as traffic chaos continues
Many have reacted angrily to the photograph showing the mayor enjoying himself amid the problems back home.
Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş was photographed dancing a local dance in Artvin as traffic chaos in the city continues to give major headaches to commuters, daily Hürriyet reported.
Topbaş reportedly went to the Black Sea province, his hometown, to avoid the stress of work.
"I try to come here every year," Topbaş was quoted as saying. "The locals here are very kind and loving toward me. I thank them all."
Many, however, have reacted angrily to the photograph showing the mayor enjoying himself amid the problems back home.
Istanbul's traffic has been worsening amid road repair work around the city. Thousands of drivers were left stuck in a traffic jam on Istanbul’s Fatih Sultan Mehmet (FSM) Bridge on July 11 after three additional lanes were closed for maintenance. Officials from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the Directorate General for Highways, meanwhile, said there was no concrete action plan to combat the traffic crisis on the bridge.
Traffic congestion stretched for kilometers, causing unusual scenes on the bridge. Dozens of people who spent hours on the bridge called in to Traffic Radio, Istanbul’s first radio station designed to assist drivers with avoiding current traffic hot spots, asking for “immediate help,” and saying “water and portable toilets were needed immediately.”
Maintenance work began on the FSM Bridge June 18, closing down two of the bridge’s eight lanes. Long traffic jams and hours spent commuting every day have become a daily routine for Istanbul residents ever since repair work began. The Directorate General for Highways closed down three additional lanes on the bridge on July 9, increasing drivers’ frustration.