Almost ceaseless for the last four days, the snowfall in Istanbul has not merely affected transport within the city but paralyzed life in the city, while also changing Istanbul locals' daily habits.
While experiencing the heaviest snowfall for the last seven years, Istanbul has seen a considerable reduction in passenger and automobile traffic. Several meetings and cultural events scheduled to take place earlier this week have been cancelled, while some workplaces have had to remain closed, asking their staff to work from home.
Because many Istanbulites have had no choice but to stay indoors, mostly at home due to the freezing temperatures and ongoing snow, time spent on the internet has also increased. Based on the data compiled from the telecommunication companies, there has been a rise in mobile internet usage as well as phone calls.
Locals continue to remain on social media, following updates about weather and road conditions through news websites. In the last four days, around 2 million photos with the hashtag "kar" (snow) have been shared on Instagram followed by "kardanadam" (snowman) with over 120,000 hashtags.
For the last few days, motorcycle couriers have been unable to deliver food orders to houses, leading to a decline in the number of food orders. A staff member from Turkey's most popular online food ordering platform, yemeksepeti.com, reported that the number of orders they received from Istanbul and Çanakkale have declined as restaurants and motorcycle couriers are unable to deliver orders due to heavy snow. Instead, many locals rushed to supermarkets to store food for the upcoming days and cook at home.
Istanbulites are also enjoying more winter treats like salep and herbal teas. A herbalist at Kadıköy Çarşı said there has been a 15 percent increase in the sales of salep, linden, ginger, mixed herbal winter tea and winter paste.
As would be expected, cold weather and snow have also increased the sales of scarves, gloves and boots at shops. Sinan Öncel, the chairman of the United Brands Association (BMD) said the snowfall will disinvest the winter season stocks of the textile industry. "The bright side of the snowfall for the textile industry is that you can disinvest the winter season stocks. If you are selling duffel coats and the weather is good, nobody buys the coat even if you sell it at a high discount. The same thing applies for snow boots. These materials are never out of fashion. You can sell the same snow boot for more than three years." Many locals are opting for winter clothing these days, although some of them are from the previous season.
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