The old and snowy weather did not deter people living in eastern Turkey from heading to the polls Sunday to elect their mayors by using their democratic right to vote.
In eastern provinces of Turkey, 283 village roads that were closed due to heavy rain were eventually opened yesterday thanks to teams who worked all night to enable citizens to reach the polls without facing difficulties.
While 242 roads were closed in Erzurum province, heavy snow blocked 26 roads in Erzincan.
Authorities in the eastern region also took measures to mitigate any hindrance during voting because of the heavy weather and snow that have been highly affecting the region in recent days.
Casting his vote in Yakutiye district, the governor of Erzurum Okay Memiş told reporters that the teams had worked really hard to prevent any difficulties that the citizens might face due to heavy snow. He underlined that the ballot boxes were conveyed to some villages in districts of Karayazı, Çat and Pasinler whose roads were opened after a blizzard.
The governor of Ağrı province, Süleyman Elban also told reporters after casting his vote that "since Saturday evening we had started our efforts to reach the ballot boxes to the remotest villages. There are not any village roads that are closed and a region where the ballot boxes were not transported."
In Kars province a citizen, Serkan Taş, came to the polls with his ski gear. Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Taş said that after casting his vote he will head to ski. "The season is extended as a result of the snow. The ski tracks are beautiful, we wanted to enjoy it," he added.
The cold weather in Kars also did not hold back 101-year-old Aliye Ünal from casting her vote in the district of Kağızman. Ünal who has some difficulties walking alone due to her age, came to the polls with the help of her relatives.
Meanwhile, the people who headed to polls to cast their votes in Hakkari were stranded in their cars as one of the roads of Gürkavak village was closed because of an avalanche.
Highway teams reached the region and opened a part of the road and some of the people were able to go to the polling stations.
Özlem Yalçın, who was waiting for the road to be opened again, said that they were stranded because of the avalanche and thanked the teams who opened the road.
Another citizen, Hüseyin Albayrak said that he cast his vote after waiting for three hours because of the closed road.
In the province of Van, teams also worked throughout the day to help citizens who were stranded on the roads because of the heavy snow and blizzard conditions. Teams transported citizens to the nearby polling centers.
Referring to some reports in the media that there were two closed village roads, the Ardahan Governorate Office stated that these roads were opened and there were no closed roads left in the province.
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