Drivers urged not to go into traffic as heavy snowfall covers Istanbul

Istanbul has been under the influence of heavy snowfall for the last two days, with authorities introducing a series of measures for traffic. The governor's office and municipality urged citizens not to go into traffic with personal vehicles unless they have to.

Duvar English

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya on March 11 announced a set of new measures amid heavy snowfall and severe weather conditions affecting the megacity, which is home to about 16 million people.

The entrance of trucks into Istanbul from the Anatolia and Thrace regions was initially banned early on March 11. But a few hours later, Yerlikaya announced that their entrances would be allowed "in a controlled manner." 

Motorcycles and electric scooters have been also banned from traffic until the next announcement. 

“Due to heavy snowfall, please don't go into traffic unless it's necessary. Prefer public transportation. Make sure to have winter tires in your vehicles,” Yerlikaya said early on March 11. 

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) also issued a statement, urging citizens not to go into traffic "unless absolutely necessary." 

“Istanbul Municipality keeps all the roads in its area of responsibility open. Snow will increase in the afternoon today and will reach its highest level tomorrow. Due to sudden rains and icing, do not go out to traffic unless absolutely necessary,” İBB spokesperson Murat Ongun said. 

Meanwhile, national flag carrier Turkish Airlines has canceled some of its flights from/to Istanbul and Sabiha Gökçen airports on March 11 and 12.

The Turkish State Meteorological Service has declared a "yellow alert" for 56 provinces, stressing to take precautions against the heavy snow, while issuing an "orange alert" for Istanbul. 

A “yellow alert” is issued when there is a “potential threat by a weather event.” Meteorologists rarely issue “orange alert,” which signifies a possibility of damage and loss in a “dangerous weather situation.”

The education was suspended on March 11 in more than 20 provinces of Turkey in the face of adverse weather conditions.