Turkey celebrates Islamic holy Feast of Sacrifice
Muslims worldwide, including those in Turkey, are celebrating the Islamic holy Eid al-Adha, or “Feast of Sacrifice,” with millions of Muslims around the world making a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia this week.
Large numbers of sacrificial animals including sheep and cows have been slaughtered as part of the feast and their meat will be distributed to the poor as a religious tradition in Islam.
For many Turks, Eid al-Adha also means a long holiday and reunion with members of the extended family living in other parts of the world.
A large number of Turks are expected to be on holiday between Aug. 11 and Aug. 19, merging the weekend with Eid al-Adha.
People began flocking to tourism destinations or hit the road as early as Aug. 9, to visit their relatives during the long holiday, causing long lines and traffic congestion on major roads.
The country’s police force put more officers on duty to help ease heavy traffic and to control speeding and reckless drivers. Units from the police’s traffic department are also monitoring activities on the roads via drones.
Not only roads, but the country’s airports are also busy.
Turkish Airlines, the country’s flag carrier, expects to fly 2 million passengers during the long holiday.
More than 500 flights have been executed at Istanbul Airport, with some 98,000 passengers on Aug. 9 and 10, said Turkish Airlines chair İlker Aycı.
Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport, which is located on the Asian side of the metropolis, has also seen one of its busiest days.
“We have broken the new record of this year with 119,073 passengers we hosted on the eve of Eid [Aug. 10],” Canan Soysal, corporate communication manager of the airport, said in a Twitter post.
Occupancy rates in southern province of Antalya’s resort town of Alanya hit 100 percent, sector players had said ahead of Eid al-Adha.
Many hotels have recently stopped sales activities as all their rooms were sold out due to strong demand from domestic and foreign tourists.