Post-Eid homecomings mire traffic
The traffic density is expected to increase further on the weekend, especially on the last day of the holiday on June 9.
Traffic police squads are deployed across the country to prevent accidents ahead of the increased traffic, often conducting inspections to enforce rules.
Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, was scheduled to officially start on June 4 and end on June 6. But Turkish authorities signed a circular declaring that July 3 (a Monday) and July 7 (a Friday) would also be holidays, effectively creating a nine-day public holiday, including the two weekends.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu tweeted on June 7 that a total of 52 people had lost their lives in the first six days of the holiday covering the period of June 1-6.
Despite the sad news, he noted that the number marked a 56-percent decrease in traffic fatalities compared to the 10-year average for the holiday period.
“Please, be careful, your return should also be Bayram [festive],” Soylu said.
State-run Anadolu Agency has also released statistics for the death toll, saying that 61 people lost their lives and 536 people were injured on the roads so far during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. The agency said their number had considered the data starting from the end of business day on May 31 to 4 p.m. on June 5.
The number of people who traveled during this holiday is estimated to be over 5 million, according to tourism players.
Osman Ayık, the head of the Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED), had previously said that of the 5 million people, the majority were expected to travel to their hometowns to spend the holiday with their families, while 300,000-400,000 would likely flock to coastal cities or sightseeing sites.