Bulgarian-Turkish Border Clogged over Ramazan End

Business | August 11, 2013, Sunday // 18:54|  views

A 5-km-long line on the Turkish side at the Kapitan Andreevo – Kapukule checkpoint is reported Sunday afternoon. File photo

Traffic at two checkpoints between Bulgaria and Turkey is reported as very heavy Sunday with long lines of trucks, buses, and cars.

The heaviest congestions are taking place at the Kapitan Andreevo – Kapukule checkpoint and at Lesovo – Hamzabeyli.

Sunday is the last day of the major Muslim religious holiday Eid ul-Fitr (Ramazan Bayram) and many Turkish citizens are returning home from abroad after their days off. Traffic is intense in the other direction as well – from Turkey to European destinations as large numbers of Turkish workers are going back there after vacations.

A 5-kilometer-long truck line has formed at Kapakule border crossing on the Turkish side, with 200 trucks waiting to enter Bulgaria.

The delay is further attributed to slow Customs work on the Bulgarian side due to repair works at the Bulgarian border checkpoint Kapitan Andreevo. It is expected that it will take until Monday evening to clear the line.

The line on the Bulgarian side at Lesovo – Hamzabeyli is 2-km long. Lesovo is working at full capacity and there are no problems for cars. Traffic there is expected to get back to normal Sunday evening.

Huge traffic jams are reported all over Turkey as well. For the three days of Ramazan Bayram 42 people have been killed in accidents, and 27 were injured, according to the Bulgarian National Radio.

Ramazan Bayram ("Ramadan Bayram") /or Eid ul-Fitr/ marks the end of the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan.

In Turkey, Ramazan Bayram , is a beloved public holiday. Schools and government offices are generally closed for the entire period of the celebrations.

Turkish people attend prayer services, put on their best clothes, often purchased just for the occasion and visit friends, relatives and neighbors. They also pay their respects to the deceased with organized visits to cemeteries. The first day of the Bayram is generally regarded as the most important, with all members of the family waking up early, and the men going to their neighborhood mosque for the special Bayram prayer.

People honor elderly citizens by kissing their right hand and placing it on one's forehead while wishing them Bayram greetings. It is also customary for young children to go around their neighborhood, door to door, and wish everyone a happy Bayram, for which they are awarded candy, chocolates, traditional sweets such as baklava and Turkish delight, or a small amount of money.

Municipalities all around the country organize fundraising events for the poor, in addition to public shows. Helping the less fortunate, ending past animosities and making up, organizing breakfasts and dinners for loved ones and putting together neighborhood celebrations are all part of the joyous occasion.

Tags: Eid ul-Fitr, holiday, Ramazan Bayram, religious, Muslim, turkey, Bulgaria, customs, Derekoy, Hamzabeyli, Lesovo, Malko Tarnovo, Kapitan Andreevo, checkpoint, Turkish, turkey, Kupukule


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