Heavy downpours wreak havoc in Istanbul, flooding historic Grand Bazaar

A barefooted girl stands on a flooded street following heavy rains in Istanbul, Turkey, August 17, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 17 August 2019

Heavy downpours wreak havoc in Istanbul, flooding historic Grand Bazaar

  • Rain started early in the day in parts of Istanbul and picked up pace around noon

ISTANBUL: Strong rains in Istanbul on Saturday flooded several neighborhoods, as well as the Grand Bazaar, while officials said one person was found dead in the city.

Rain started early in the day in parts of Istanbul and picked up pace around noon.

Footage from parts of the Grand Bazaar showed shopkeepers, ankle-deep in water, clearing the water out of their stores and the halls. It also showed water pouring out of a hole on the wall into the bazaar, as well as a manhole left open to drain the flood.

A homeless man was found dead in the Unkapani area on the European side of the city due to the flood, the spokesman for the Istanbul municipality said on Twitter.

Several roads across Istanbul, including parts of the road on the shores of the Bakirkoy district and a section of one of the city’s main highways, had also been submerged, Istanbul municipality’s Disaster Coordination Center (AKOM) said.

The rains also flooded an underpass where several shops are located in the Eminonu neighborhood, it said. 

Footage on Turkish media showed hundreds of books and goods floating in the water as shopkeepers submerged up to their waists worked to clear the area.

AKOM said 114 kilo of rain per square meter had fallen in the Fatih district, where the Grand Bazaar, as well as the Unkapani and Eminonu areas, are located.


Protesters regain control of third bridge in Baghdad

Updated 17 November 2019

Protesters regain control of third bridge in Baghdad

  • Security forces used tear gas and stun bombs to prevent protesters from getting right across Ahrar Bridge in central Baghdad
  • More than 300 people have been killed since the start of mass unrest in Baghdad

BAGHDAD: Iraqi protesters regained control of a third bridge leading to Baghdad’s Green Zone on Sunday, taking further ground in the biggest wave of anti-government demonstrations in decades.
Security forces used tear gas and stun bombs to prevent protesters from getting right across Ahrar Bridge in central Baghdad, part of a weeks-long attempt to disrupt traffic and reach the Green Zone housing government ministry and embassies.
Protesters made a barricade of old cabinets, trash cans and metal sheeting on the bridge while security forces took positions behind blast walls installed to prevent protesters from crossing to the other side. Protesters who choked on the tear gas were evacuated by tuk-tuk, a Reuters cameraman said.
On Saturday, Iraqi demonstrators reoccupied part of adjacent Sinak Bridge and a nearby tall building in Baghdad that security forces had pushed them away from a week before. They have held a third bridge, Jamhuriya, since October 25.
More than 300 people have been killed since the start of mass unrest in Baghdad and southern Iraq in early October, the largest demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Protesters are demanding the overthrow of a political class seen as corrupt and beholden to foreign interests.
In Basra in the south, dozens of protesters burned tires and briefly blocked some roads on Sunday, before police managed to restore control and reopen them, police said.
The unrest has shattered the relative calm that followed the defeat of Islamic State in 2017.