Europe’s busiest airport was closed in Istanbul yesterday, but schools and vaccination centers were closed as a rare snowstorm in Athens covered the eastern Mediterranean coast, causing power outages and traffic congestion.
The closure of Istanbul Airport, where one roof of the cargo terminal collapsed in heavy snow and was not injured, was a ground flight extending from the Middle East and Africa to Europe and Asia.
Travel officials told AFP that it marked the first closure of the glass steel structure since it replaced Istanbul’s old Ataturk International Airport with a new hub for Turkish Airlines in 2019. The first snow in winter was posed for self-portraits by snowmen and tourists who created a fun atmosphere throughout the square of the ancient mosque in Istanbul with children.
But it was a big headache for the 16 million inhabitants of Turkey’s largest city. There, cars slid down a steep sleet-covered street, turning the highway into a parking lot.
The Istanbul Governor’s Office warned drivers that they could not enter the city from Thrace, which stretches from the European region of Turkey to the western border between Bulgaria and Greece.
The city’s iconic “Simit” bagel stalls remained empty as shopping malls were closed early, food delivery services were closed, and suppliers were unable to get over the snow. The storm blocked roads across central and southeastern Turkey before crossing to neighboring Syria, where the war-damaged northern refugee camps were even more dire.
Last year, Istanbul Airport served more than 37 million passengers and became one of the most important hubs in the world. However, critics have long questioned the decision to locate the airport in remote areas along the Black Sea coast, which is often foggy in winter.
“All flights were temporarily suspended for aviation safety due to adverse conditions,” the airport said in a statement, posting a photo of a yellow snowman orbiting a stranded plane on Twitter. The airport was late yesterday and the service was extended twice, saying it wouldn’t resume until 4am today. However, most of Turkey’s major institutions remained open.
However, in Greece, where overnight temperatures plummeted to -14 degrees Celsius (6.8 degrees Fahrenheit), a storm interrupted parliamentary sessions and closed schools and vaccination centers in Athens.
Thousands of drivers were trapped in cars around the capital, despite police attempts to block the entrance to a highway in the northern part of the city. Many of them got angry at the TV stations.
“My wife hasn’t eaten since morning. We had a small bottle of water between us.
“Everything is frozen hard.
http://www.gulf-times.com/story/708597/Istanbul-airport-shut-amid-snow-havoc-in-southeast Istanbul Airport closed in the snow turmoil of Southeast Europe