Istanbul sweats in Turkish heatwave


Experts issue health warning as millions swelter in felt temperatures of 40C

ISTANBUL – Istanbul’s 14 million residents are sweltering in the hottest week of this summer, with felt temperatures hitting around 40C (104 Fahrenheit), according to meteorology officials.

The Turkish State Meteorological Service has issued a heatwave warning across the country, stating that the temperature is between 5-9C above seasonal averages.

“The highest temperature of this week will be 34C (93 Fahrenheit) in many districts of Istanbul,” Ahmet Ucar, Weather Forecasts Desk manager of the service told Anadolu Agency.

“It will rise as high as 37C (98 Fahrenheit) in some districts of the city this week […] but because of the high humidity rate, felt temperature can be above 40C (104 Fahrenheit) in the city.”

Istanbul last experienced such heat 15 years ago when temperatures hit 41C (105 Fahrenheit).

Almost all provinces in Turkey’s Marmara, southeastern Anatolia and central Anatolia regions are experiencing extreme heat this week.

Temperatures in provinces such as Edirne, Kirklareli, Balikesir, Bursa and Kocaeli will also be above 40C (104 Fahrenheit), Ucar added.

“The hottest province in Turkey is the southeastern Sanliurfa and Batman provinces with temperatures hitting around 44C (111 Fahrenheit),” he stated.

Both meteorology and health officials are advising people not to go out between 10.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. – times when sunshine is at its strongest.

It is also very important to increase fluid intake when the temperature is high, Ozgur Karcioglu, an emergency physician at Istanbul-based Acibadem Bakirkoy Hospital told Anadolu Agency.

“We may need to double the fluid intake in such hot temperatures but this should be pure water, not beverages like tea or coffee.”

Heat could be dangerous especially for elderly people, children, babies and cardiac patients. “They are much more responsive to fluid loss and extreme heat. They should be much more careful about these,” Karcioglu said.

The heatwave will continue to dominate the country until the first week of August, according to meteorological officials.