World Bulletin / News Desk
Snowfall and storm paralyzed daily life throughout Turkey on Saturday as the capital Ankara and metropolis Istanbul faced the first snowfall of this winter.
Snowfall began in the highest regions of Istanbul, particularly in Buyukcekmece and Beylikduzu neighborhoods in the Eurasian side and Tuzla, Pendik, Kartal and Maltepe neighborhoods in the Asian side.
Sleet and snowfall still continues in other neighborhoods of Istanbul, while Istanbul Municipality has mobilized its personnel to open roads to traffic in case they are closed due to snowfall.
Adverse weather conditions also affect sea traffic in Istanbul, Marmara Sea and Canakkale Strait. Ferryboat services between Istanbul and Bandirma, Bursa and Yalova were cancelled due to heavy northwestern winds.
Moreover, city ship voyages between Uskudar and Eyup and Eminonu and Kadikoy were cancelled due to heavy storm.
Heavy northeastern winds also hampered traffic on the Sea of Marmara, particularly at Istanbul and Canakkale straits. 43 Turkish and foreign tankers and cargo ships anchored off-coast of Sarkoy town of the northwestern province of Tekirdag on Friday night.
After storm eased on Saturday morning, 31 cargo ships and tankers set sail, whereas 12 others are still waiting off Sarkoy for better weather conditions.
Storm negatively affected traffic at the Canakkale Strait, and halted ferryboat voyages between Gelibolu and Lapseki, Geyikli and Bozcaada, and Kabatepe and Gokceada.
Village roads closed
Ankara was another city which was affected by snowfall that began on Friday night. Around 106 traffic accidents occurred in the capital due to the snowfall and icing. However, municipal and highway teams are using salt to melt ice on roads.
Snow also hampers traffic on Bolu Mountain highway. Highway teams continue efforts to re-open the highway to traffic.
Also, 31 village roads are closed to traffic in the Aegean province of Kutahya due to heavy snowfall.
Snowfall not only affects daily life and highway traffic but also hampers air traffic. A Turkish Airlines (THY) plane bound from Istanbul to the southeastern province of Adiyaman had to land at the eastern province of Elazig due to adverse weather conditions.
Passengers were sent back to Istanbul from Elazig. Moreover, 90 passengers who wanted to fly from Adiyaman to Istanbul were taken to Malatya by buses. They will fly to Istanbul from Malatya Airport.
Snowfall is influential in Thrace, whereas the visibility range dropped to 50 meters at Seymenler and Karanlikdere hamlets of the Bolu Mountain. A person died as a car overturned into a brook in Guduslu village of Kocarli town of the Aegean province of Aydin. Traffic was paralyzed in Istanbul due to sleet. Planes could not land at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport.
Good news for skiing resorts
Although snowfall is paralyzing daily life in cities, it is embellishing one of the skiing resorts of Turkey, Uludag in the Marmara Region.
Snow thickness reached 25 centimeters in Uludag with the snowfall that was influential since Friday night. Meteorology officials said snowfall would continue in this skiing resort.
A northeastly wind is expected to blow with a speed of 100 kilometers per hour over the weekend in the western parts of Black Sea, Aegean Sea and Marmara Sea. Meteorologists have issued flood warnings for the Mediterranean region. Heavy rains are expected there, particularly in Antalya, Mersin, Hatay and Adana.
Important winter tourism centers, such as Kartepe in northwestern Kocaeli province, are also enjoying the rising depth of snow. As of yesterday, the snow in Kartepe had reached 20 centimeters.