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Eid-al Adha vacationers paralyze traffic across Turkey.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- With the five-day official holiday of Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) beginning on Friday, many vacationers headed for their hometowns starting on Thursday night, leading to heavy traffic congestion throughout the country.

Long lines of cars appeared on the ystanbul-Kocaeli-Bolu-Ankara and ystanbul-Kocaeli-Bursa-yzmir highways. The Kocaeli, Sakarya, Bolu and Bursa highways, as they are joined by many other roads, experienced congestion, and the extended time spent on these roads meant delayed arrivals for drivers.

Traffic almost came to a standstill on the yzmit stretch of the TEM highway because of toll stations between the highway and yzmir, Ankara, Yalova and Bursa. The ystanbul-Kocaeli route of the highway and the E-5 route witnessed some of their densest traffic ever, as more than 100,000 vehicles passed through from 2 p.m. on Thursday to 8 a.m. on Friday. It is expected that the number of cars on this route will reach 150,000 within 24 hours.

Starting from Thursday night, vehicles flowed out of ystanbul in the direction of Anatolia on the TEM highway and D-100 (E-5) roads, extending the travel time from ystanbul to Bolu province, which would normally take two hours, to up to 12 hours. Due to heavy traffic, a 15-kilometer (approximately 10 miles) jam appeared in the Bolu-Gerede direction of the TEM highway.

Cars proceeded slowly along all three lanes of a road leading to the Bolu Mountain Tunnel in the western Black Sea region. However, the ystanbul lanes of the TEM and E-5 highways were almost empty.

On Thursday evening many cars were lined up on the Eskihisar dock of Gebze in Kocaeli, near ystanbul, to head to Yalova, Bursa province, by ferry. Officials from ystanbul Ferry Lines (yDO) said an extra 10 ferries have been added to the 10 ferries already working to carry cars in Gebze to the Yalova line. Twenty ferries worked continuously the whole night but were not able to reduce the 5-6 kilometer traffic jam, with lines so long that they spilled over onto the highway. yDO abandoned its normal ferry timetable so that they could operate continuously and avoid a traffic jam.

8 die in an accident in Manisa

The first accident of the Eid-al Adha holiday took place in the Akhisar district of Manisa province. Eight died and one was injured in an accident on Friday morning, as a car travelling in the direction of ystanbul collided with another car travelling towards Manisa on the Manisa-Akhisar main road. Police reported that Kenan Dinsiz, driving towards ystanbul, fell asleep at wheel and veered onto the other side of the road, colliding with an oncoming car driven by Metin KardaE-ly. Eight people travelling in the two cars died in the accident, including both drivers and 11-year-old Ece Nur KardaE-ly, who was travelling in the car Metin KardaE-ly was driving, was injured.

In another incident that took place on the eve of Eid-al Adha on Friday, eight were injured in an Adana traffic pileup. The accident, involving four cars, took place around noon on Friday near the Organized Industrial Zone (OSB) on the Adana-Ceyhan highway. Bilal Ecyrcyr, the driver of an oil tanker, lost control of his vehicle and hit a milk tanker that had parked on the side of the highway due to a problem with the vehicle. The oil tanker then hit another milk tanker and a car travelling on the road.

Traffic jams and accidents are commonplace during the Eid holidays due to the volume of cars on the road, and many accidents are caused by driver fatigue. During the last Eid al-Fitr, traffic accidents claimed the lives of more than 100 and left more than 800 injured. Officials have repeatedly warned drivers to avoid driving on the first and last days of the holiday, when accidents occur more frequently.

Turks traditionally visit family and friends in their hometowns during religious holidays, while others prefer to visit holiday resorts. A large number of people enjoyed the Eid al-Adha break by traveling around Turkey on a mini-vacation; however, the journey back home was anything but a break, with crowded roads and traffic jams forcing people to wait in their vehicles for hours.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Oct 3, 2014
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