Istanbul hit by stubborn snow storm

A thick blanket of snow is responsible for more than 800 crashes in Istanbul.

After two days of intense snowfall, Mayor Kadir Topbas is urging the city of more than 15 million to stay off the roads.

Turkish weather reporters are calling the snow blast a “Siberian storm front” as intermittent storms continue to push through the city.

Commuters who are not utilizing the city’s public transportation have been fighting their way up steep slick roads without winter tires. Turkish media say they’ve witnessed hundreds of people who’ve been forced to abandon their vehicles and make their way on foot due to traffic standstills.

A commute that normally takes 45 minutes is now taking 4.5 hours.

Turkey’s main airport, Atatürk International, was inoperable for more than three hours due to the blizzard conditions. The bad weather made it impossible for aircraft to take off or land which meant diverting an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Athens after they reportedly tried eight times to land at Istanbul’s Atatürk International.

Although a menace for many, others took the opportunity to enjoy the snow. One man in Gümüssuyu district near Taksim Square was heard telling his boys, “Enjoy it while you can! You won’t see this kind of weather for years.”

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