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Millions hit the road amid Qurban Bayram holiday in Turkey

Millions hit the road amid Qurban Bayram holiday in Turkey

Traffic jams are ubiquitous from the north to the south as millions, either by their own cars or passenger buses, head to their hometowns or vacation resorts for the Qurban Bayram, also known as Eid al-Adha, holiday. Bayram will be marked next Tuesday but it is officially a nine-day holiday that began Friday and will end July 26.

However, most people started leaving the big cities in the west Thursday on National Unity and Democracy Day, another official holiday. By Friday morning, the traffic came to a halt on many intercity roads. With so many vehicles on the road, traffic accidents are inevitable and every year, dozens fall victim to accidents.

The Interior Ministry Friday issued lengthy instructions to security forces in charge of the enforcement of traffic safety rules, to reduce the number of accidents this year. In the meantime, governors and mayors of cities in the south, popular among holidaymakers, warned vacationers to book hotels and other venues before heading out as all hotels and similar venues were fully booked for the holiday.

As with last year’s bayram, authorities did not impose any COVID-19 restrictions because of a decline in the number of cases and an increasing number of vaccinations. The country already lifted curfews July 1 and most restrictions, except for the mandatory mask rule, were ended. Experts are repeatedly warning holidaymakers to avoid crowded places, though.

The Mediterranean cities of Antalya and Muğla are among the most popular destinations for holidaymakers from the big cities in the west, particularly Istanbul, which is the most crowded of the country with a population of more than 15 million people. Others prefer visiting their relatives, parents or children living in cities in the inner regions of Anatolia.