Traffic jams paralyze Istanbul’s environs as Eid al-Fitr vacationers return
ISTANBUL – Doğan News AgencyTraffic jams have begun to paralyze highways around Istanbul, as hundreds of thousands of the city’s inhabitants are returning to their homes after traveling to their hometowns or coastal provinces to spend the nine-day public holiday declared for Eid al-Fitr celebrations.
The Trans-European Motorway (TEM) and state highway D-100 near neighboring Kocaeli province began to witness dense traffic from late June 6, while a 30-kilometer convoy emerged due to a traffic jam on the Karacabey-Bursa highway.
The holidays also witnessed numerous traffic accidents across the country that led to the deaths of a total of 98 people while injuring 313 other in six days, as of late June 7.
A total of 18 people were killed and 29 were injured in separate accidents that took place on the first day of the holiday in the provinces of Antalya, Aydın, Bursa, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Trabzon and Şanlıurfa.
The series of accidents continued on July 3 when 26 people lost their lives and 72 others were injured across the country. A day later, on July 4, 19 people died and 48 people sustained injuries in accidents that mainly occurred in the country’s Black Sea region and southeastern provinces.
The toll stalled to an extent on July 5, when the density of the traffic decreased, as four people died in accidents in Bolu, the Mediterranean resort province of Antalya and northern Anatolian province of Çorum.
The figures started to rise again on July 6, as people began returning to their homes. A total 11 people died and 37 others were injured on July 6, but the figure rose even higher on July 7, as 17 were killed and 61 were injured.
The week starting July 4 marked Eid al-Fitr, which celebrates the end of Ramadan, and people took to the highways to spend the vacation with their families or at coastal resorts.
Turkish authorities declared a nine-day public holiday starting July 2 and continuing until July 10.