Strict measures on roads ahead of long holiday
The Interior Ministry has issued a directive to ensure traffic safety across Turkey during the Feast of Sacrifice holiday which starts on Aug. 11.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and all other high-ranking ministerial officers will be in the field during the holiday marking the four-day Islamic celebration Eid al-Adha.
The ministry has decided to deploy 116,236 traffic police squads on the roads to set up control points in every 10 kilometers on the 20 critical routes across the 18 provinces. These routes include the highways connecting Istanbul with the capital Ankara and western provinces such as İzmir and Muğla.
Some 1,120 intercity buses will be inspected by undercover police officers posing as passengers.
Helicopters will be used for road traffic control in 19 provinces, including Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Muğla and the Mediterranean province of Antalya. In the other provinces, the police and the gendarmerie units will use drones for inspections.
The holy celebration starts at midnight on Aug. 10 and will run through the week until Aug. 15; however, the government has yet to decide on extending the holiday by declaring Aug 15-16 as bank holidays. Such a decision would effectively create a nine-day holiday, including the two weekends, starting on Aug. 10 and ending on Aug. 18.
At least 86 people died in 73 traffic accidents during the nine-day Eid al-Fitr public holiday between June 1 and 9, according to the Interior Ministry.