Tickets at coach firms sold out as lockdown ends
People that are returning to big cities are rushing to bus companies to buy tickets as the country's more than two weeks of lockdown has ended.
The lockdown, which came into effect towards the end of April, triggered an exodus from Istanbul, Ankara and the western province of İzmir, whose residents left those cities for resort towns or their hometowns to spend the days under tight restrictions and the Eid al-Fitr holiday with their relatives or rather in less crowded places along the country's coast lines.
Residents leaving the big cities before the lockdown began caused huge traffic jams on highways, particularly in Istanbul, home to around 16 million people.
Now it is time for millions of people to hit the roads again to return.
There is huge demand for bus tickets and almost all coach buses are full, said representatives of travel companies.
They predict that the demand and the number of people traveling will only increase in the next two days, saying that all tickets are almost sold out.
"Occupancy rate at our buses is already at 80 percent. No tickets are available on the buses coming to Istanbul for the next two to three days," said Halis Tekin from an inter-city coach firm.
People will continue to return to Istanbul during next week, according to Tekin.
"My wife and my son left some 15 days ago and they are now coming back as she will start working again," said Gökhan Soysal, who was at Istanbul's often crowded 15 Temmuz Democracy Bus Terminal to welcome his family.
Ali Fırat, who traveled from the eastern province of Muş to visit his relatives, also said he had to return because, like many others, his work begins again.