The Qurban Bayram holiday began yesterday following the end of working hours for public officials. As the holiday has been extended to nine days, the traffic around Turkey is expected to be jammed for the next couple of days. Bus tickets are also said to be sold out.
The president of the Federation of Bus Drivers (TOF) and the speaker of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges Passenger Transportation, Mustafa Yıldırım, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that people began traveling throughout Turkey yesterday, since the number of official holidays for Qurban Bayram (Feast of Sacrifice) has been extended. He said many people have changed the dates of their departure tickets and bought return tickets for Sept. 26 or Sept. 27 as well.
Yıldırım added that 353 bus companies across Turkey with 8,500 busses in total are offering their services for Qurban Bayram. He also said the number of bus services increases to 27,000 during public holidays, while the companies normally offer 22,000 bus services.
Yıldırım stressed that people usually prefer traveling to touristic destinations since it is still warm. As bus tickets for the holiday are almost sold out, Yıldırım said: "We will provide services for 800,000 people each day. This number will reach 7,200,000 people at the end of the nine-day holiday. We aim to offer transportation to 500,000 more passengers with a total of 6,000 additional services."
Yıldırım said bus companies are having hard times because of the number of Syrian refugees waiting at the bus stations. He said the refugees spend their nights at the stations, and asked the governorates and police departments to find a solution.
Those who want to travel via bus during the holiday should buy their tickets as soon as possible. "Passengers should only buy tickets from bus companies that sell tickets at the bus stations," Yıldırım said, adding people should opt to purchase round-trip tickets.