Snow began to fall over Istanbul, Turkey’s most populated city, late Saturday, commencing a week of projected sleet amid fears of a harsh winter the city has not experienced in years.
By midnight, much of the city was covered in white as the Asian districts of the 15-million megapolis were last to receive heavy snowfall.
A blanket of snow covered much of Istanbul on Sunday morning, which weather forecasts say will increase in density throughout the day.
Except for brief respites, the snowfall is expected to linger until Thursday.
Parts of Istanbul on higher ground were more exposed to the snowfall, and municipality crews worked tirelessly to clear snow-covered roads and streets, pouring salt on icy roads.
The Turkish State Meteorological Service (TSMS) and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality's (IBB) Disaster Coordination Center (AKOM) had previously warned Istanbulites that the snowfall could last for five days with a severe drop in temperatures.
The snowfall Istanbul is experiencing is expected to be as harsh as the winters of 1987, 2002 and 2004, though precipitation has been low for the city compared to past years so far.
A man feeds seagulls on the shore of the Bosporus in Istanbul during heavy snowfalls on Feb. 14, 2021.
Locals enjoy the Bosporus during a snowy Sunday in Istanbul, Turkey, Feb. 14, 2021.
A woman gets into a taxi during heavy snowfall in Turkey's Istanbul on Feb. 14, 2021.
A man feeds seagulls during a snowy Sunday in Istanbul, Turkey, Feb. 14, 2021.
People have a walk in the snowy streets of Istanbul during heavy snowfalls on Feb. 14, 2021.
The picture shows a general view of Istanbul's Karaköy district during a snowfall on Feb. 15, 2021.
People walk in the snowy streets of Istanbul during heavy snowfalls on Feb. 14, 2021.
A ferry ship makes its way in the Bosporus during snowfall in Istanbul on Feb. 14, 2021.
A couple has a walk in the snowy streets of Istanbul during heavy snowfalls on Feb. 14, 2021.