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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Heavy snowfall and fog halts transportation in Istanbul, Turkey.

Transportation services in the Turkish city of Istanbul have been severely affected by the heaviest snowfall to hit the city in over seven years.Ferry lines, flights, and road traffic all significant suffered disruption on Monday after four days of heavy snow took its toll. The Bosphorus strait was closed to all naval traffic due to fog generated by the prolonged snow. The Bosphorus is the sole naval connection between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, as well as a key passage for oil transportation.

All ferry lines running across the strait were also suspended on Monday, with the weather hampering Istanbul residents. "All ferry lines are canceled because of the weather. Nobody wants to go outside with the weather being so cold," said local resident Mehmet Karakoc. "I was born and raised in Istanbul and I don't remember seeing a snow like this ever in my life. It, of course, does affect work and all [other aspects]. It makes it very difficult for transportation, and public transportation is basically not working. Most of the roads in Istanbul are shut down already," said Ugur Sert, another resident.

Turkish Airlines were also forced to cancel 227 flights taking off from Istanbul's two airports. Schools have been closed for two days in Istanbul, with all government employee's office hours shortened to 15:30. Authorities announced on Sunday that over 7,000 personnel and 1,340 vehicles are being deployed to help clear the snow from the city's roads. The extreme snowfall, the worst to hit the city since 2009, is expected to last until Wednesday.


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