Traffic deadlock as millions return from Eid holidays
Millions of people have hit the roads across the country on July 17 and 18 to return home from the Aegean and the Mediterranean coasts where they spent the Eid al-Adha holiday, which started on July 9 and ended on July 12 and whose period has been extended to nine days to cover July 13 and 14, giving people an opportunity to divide the holiday between family visits and vacation.
A 50-kilometer-long traffic jam occurred in the northern province of Karabük, which connects Istanbul to the Black Sea Region and is the crossing point of 21 provinces.
While the central Anatolian province of Kırıkkale, located at the crossing point of 43 provinces and known as the “key intersection,” hosted a large density, it took hours to pass the partial traffic jams on the highways between Kırıkkale and Ankara.
Meanwhile, over 100,000 vehicles have left the Aegean province of Muğla’s Bodrum district in the last three days, reportedly.
The millions’ return caused a kilometers long queue on the road between Muğla’s Turgutreis town and Milas district, while the traffic paused at many junctions.
There was also a 5-kilometer-long queue of traffic on the way to the southern province of Antalya.
Some of the holidaymakers parked their vehicles on the roadsides and waited for the traffic jam to break up.
While the police took precautions to avoid accidents on the route, the military police teams conducted checks on nearly 10,000 vehicles during the holiday.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu urged drivers to wear seat belts, obey the speed limit, not talk on the phone and allow themselves some rest periods while driving.
“Considering the last 10 years’ festivity holidays, the average daily death toll was 15, while it is seven for the Eid holidays in 2022. Let’s all follow the rules for a safe return,” Soylu said on his Twitter account.
Millions of people, who didn’t celebrate the feast in traditional ways, flocked to summer resorts in coastal provinces to enjoy sunny weather, beach and sea during the holiday period.
Nearly three million domestic tourists have come to Muğla, which has world-famous resort towns such as Bodrum, Datça, Marmaris and Fethiye and nearly 300,000 vehicles have entered Bodrum, which has become overcrowded with holidaymakers like many other resort towns in Türkiye’s coastal provinces, amid the nine-day holiday, according to the officials.
The population of the town of Bodrum, which is around 188,000 during the off-season, has soared to approximately one million and 100 percent occupancy rate was seen in Bodrum’s hotels.
In İzmir’s Çeşme district, the population increased by 20 times and reached one million, and the occupancy rate in hotels is at 90 percent. There were also power cuts in several parts of the district due to excessive consumption.
The total number of domestic and foreign tourists is around 150,000 in the southern province of Antalya’s Kemer district, according to the municipality’s data.
While the Avşa, Ekinlik and Marmara islands off the coast of the northwestern Balıkesir province have a total population of 10,146, they approached 200,000 during the holiday according to Marmara Island Mayor Süleyman Aksoy.
The population of Şarköy, the summer resort town neighboring Istanbul, which is 50,000 in winter has exceeded 400,000 with the arrival of holidaymakers with some not being able to find a place to stay in the hotels.
The number of domestic holidaymakers increased by 25 percent from the Eid al-Adha break last year, according to the officials.
The Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday marks the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage and the second most important religious festivity after Eid al-Fitr.