At least 41 die as Turkey welcomes holiday on road

At least 41 die as Turkey welcomes holiday on road

At least 41 die as Turkey welcomes holiday on road

DHA Photo

At least 41 people were killed in crashes across Turkey over the weekend, as hundreds of thousands of citizens hit the roads to mark the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

A total of 41 people were killed and 266 were injured in crashes over the weekend as tens of thousands of people hit the road Turkey to mark the holiday. The holiday, also known as the Ramadan Bayramı in Turkish, comes at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and officially starts on July 28. However, this year, the three-day Eid has effectively grown to a five-day holiday with the addition of the weekend.

Ten people were killed and 75 were injured in accidents on July 25. Seventeen were killed and 107 were injured on July 26 while 14 people were killed and 84 were injured as of 4 p.m. on July 27.

Six people were killed in a crash on the Isparta-to-Konya highway.

A car, which was carrying a mother, Fadime Demiralay, and her two children, who had come to Turkey from Germany, hit a small truck. Demiralay, 43, her son Tolga, 15, daughter Betül, 11, and her father, Ethem Ali Kuzucuk, 79, were killed. The drivers of the two vehicles also died.

A family gone

Four people were also killed in another accident in the Sungurlu district of Çorum.

Ramazan Korkut, 36, lost control of the wheel and drove the car off a cliff while taking his family from Bursa to Samsun.

Korkut’s wife, Hatice, 37, son Salih Mert, 12, and mother Şehri Korkut, 80, were killed. Seven-year-old son Sefa Korkut survived the crash and was taken to the Çorum Hitit University Hospital.

Elsewhere, nine people were injured as a bus flipped over in an accident near Kırıkkale.

Authorities earlier warned citizens on accidents, which have taken thousands of lives in holidays over the last two decades. Last year, at least 86 people were killed on the road during Eid holiday, according to official figures.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan particularly highlighted the issue in his bayram message, urging citizens to obey traffic rules. “Please do not drive carelessly, do not drink and drive,” the message read.

People took to the highways to head out on vacation starting as early as July 25, but all through the weekend, there were massive traffic jams in inter-city routes, especially on highways exiting Istanbul, which have become an unwelcome holiday tradition for those who resort to personal vehicles to hit the road.

Cars queuing to pass through the gates of the TEM Motorway in Bolu, the main route leading from Istanbul to many Anatolian cities, created a traffic jam that snaked some 30 kilometers.

The Gebze-Yalova ferry, meanwhile, transported 23,000 vehicles in one 24-hour span.