Fatalities in traffic accidents overshadowed another holiday in Turkey as they claimed 61 lives in six days. Another 536 people were injured in accidents between last Friday and Thursday.
Thousands have taken to the roads to mark Ramadan Bayram, or Eid al-Fitr, at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan after the workday ended on May 31 and a nine-day holiday started. A total of 136 accidents were recorded across the country since then.
Nearly 200,000 traffic crews were deployed, particularly on busy roads, to prevent accidents that have been common during all long holidays, and police stepped up road checks against reckless drivers and vehicles violating road safety. Police also deployed drones and helicopters in congested spots and highways.
The Interior Ministry has also launched an awareness campaign to encourage children to warn their parents to drive carefully. Still, from Balıkesir in the west to Elazığ in eastern Turkey, traffic accidents claimed lives in less than one week, and fatalities might increase in the coming days as holidaymakers are set to return home over the weekend.
Big cities in the west, particularly Istanbul, saw an exodus of thousands of people traveling to popular holiday destinations in the Aegean and Mediterranean cities for the holiday. A significant number of people living in western cities also travel to central, northern, southern and eastern parts of the country to celebrate Ramadan Bayram in their hometowns with their relatives.