Turkey's megacity Istanbul banned private vehicles to go on roads until 1 p.m. local time on Jan. 25, while winter weather snarled transport across the city, home to about 16 million people.
The announcement was made by Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya on Twitter who said that emergency teams continue to clean the roads.
Footage shared by the governor showed trucks and cars stranded in the snow.
Meanwhile, the suspension of flight operations at Istanbul Airport was extended on Jan. 25.
"The suspension of flight operations have been extended until 25 January 13.00 due to adverse weather conditions," the Istanbul Airport said on its website.
📢 Update: The suspension of flight operations have been extended until 25 January 13.00 due to adverse weather conditions. https://t.co/PEPniXgaDR— İGA Istanbul Airport (@igairport) January 25, 2022
Turkey's flag-carrier Turkish Airlines canceled all flights from Istanbul Airport until Jan. 26.
Passengers and the Istanbul Airport staff spent the night at the airport on Jan. 24 because the roads to the airport were also closed.
Plane carrying ministers lands at now closed Atatürk Airport
During the heavy snowfall, Atatürk Airport was the only airport open to air transportation in Istanbul.
Unable to land at the Istanbul Airport, the plane carrying Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu landed there on Jan. 25.
Atatürk Airport, located in the south of İstanbul, was closed to commercial flights after the opening of Istanbul Airport in 2019. Atatürk Airport offered different transportation options to the public, thanks to the metro line that went down under the airport. The metro line to the new airport is still under construction.
The new airport is under harsh criticism because of its distance to the city center and its location which is exposed to heavy weather conditions, like fog, snow and wind, during the winter.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said that snow had reached 80-85 centimeters deep in the rural districts of Istanbul, and 35-40 centimeters in the center on the night of Jan. 24. He said some roads, especially in the north of Istanbul, were closed.
He said 55,000 tonnes of salt had been used on roads and he called on citizens to clear snow in front of homes and shops to help emergency teams.
"We hope that if we overcome tonight with measures as well, we won't have any problems left. May God protect everyone," he said while visiting a salt facility.
Across the country, some 4,600 people were left stranded on roads and elsewhere, and thousands had been placed in temporary housing, the Disaster and Emergency Authority (AFAD) said.
The Directorate of Communications said that 75 major roads are currently closed to traffic due to adverse weather conditions.