World Bulletin / News Desk
The State Meteorological Bureau has warned residents across Turkey of heavy rain and ice as winter weather has arrived across the country.
Heavy rain is expected in the provinces of Adana, Osmaniye, Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, Erzincan, Tunceli, Elazığ, Bingöl, Muş, Bitlis, Hakkari, Şırnak, Samsun, Ordu, Giresun, Amasya, Tokat, Yozgat, Adıyaman, Gaziantep, Kilis and Siirt, while icy conditions will be seen in the central provinces as well as in the Marmara region.
Temperatures will fall by two to four degrees Celsius in eastern regions, while no temperature changes are expected in other areas.
"PM's plane diverted"
A plane carrying a delegation including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan landed in the southeastern province of Batman instead of the neighboring province Siirt due to adverse weather conditions Sunday morning.
With the arrival of winter weather, a number of highways have undergone maintenance work across Turkey, the Highways General Directorate noted in a written statement. The directorate warned drivers to drive slowly on these roads and be aware of traffic signs, also pointing out possible landslides and road collapses in regions that receive excessive rainfall.
Intense snowfall battered the capital city of Ankara over the weekend. Many roads were closed to traffic, including the busiest routes, as numerous cars without snow chains got stuck on the road. While some drivers tried to put chains on the tires, some of them abandoned their cars on the road and walked home.
The Ankara Metropolitan Municipality sent text messages to the city's residents warning them not to drive their cars and advising them to use mass transit. It was also noted in the messages that snowfall and icy conditions will continue throughout this week.
"Homeless in sport hall"
In İstanbul, where it also snowed, the municipality transported homeless people to sport halls across the city by ambulance. They will stay in the halls until the harsh winter conditions ease. About 50 people were taken to the Tevfik Aydeniz sports hall in Alibeyköy and were accommodated in the hall after undergoing a health check.
Meanwhile, snowfall was also observed in warmer western and southern cities including Aydın and Muğla over the weekend. In the famous holiday resort town of Ölüdeniz, residents welcomed snow with surprise.