Though Eid al-Fitr is technically a three-day holiday, beginning Tuesday and ending Thursday of this week, many people took the whole week off to celebrate the end of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan. Many people took advantage of the nine-day break to leave İstanbul and head either to Anatolia to visit family or elsewhere for vacation.
For vacationers who spent the holiday in the Mediterranean and Aegean regions, Çanakkale was the preferred route for the return trip to İstanbul.
As many vacationers set out early on Thursday morning, the car ferry that travels between Çanakkale and Gelibolu quickly became congested with vehicles and people.
Once the parking lot was full, people began parking their cars fours-abreast in front of the pier as they waited for the ferry to arrive.
Although many people with work commitments have chosen to set out on the return journey a little early, officials still expect to see the most intense traffic on Sunday.
Life in İstanbul, meanwhile, slowed down during the holiday, according to a Vatan report. Those who chose to stay behind experienced an altogether different İstanbul -- with half-price transportation fees and uncharacteristically open roads. Some headed to city squares, while others came out to the shores of the Bosporus.
Those who stayed in the city began the Eid al-Fitr with prayers on Tuesday morning. After visiting elders, relatives and friends, people took to the streets and squares to enjoy the sunny weather.
Taksim Square's İstiklal Street was brimming with young people, and families with little children strolled the cobbled streets and shops of Örtakoy and along the Bosporus. Street vendors passed out sweets and chocolates to customers who graced their stands.