Today, the bustling heart of Athens, the Syntagma metro station, stands eerily quiet. The station shut down from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm due to the arrival of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, transforming the usually buzzing capital into a fortress. The closure, ordered by the police, led to metro trains whizzing through the station without halting, creating an unusual scene in the city's daily life.
Stringent Security Measures
With the Turkish President's visit, Athens has gone into a state of heightened vigilance. The city center streets closed intermittently, with the decision hinging on Erdogan's movements. Public gatherings face a blanket ban until 6:00 pm, adding to the sense of a city under siege. A force of 3,000 police officers has been deployed across the city, their presence a visible testament to the gravity of the occasion. Snipers have taken positions in buildings along Erdogan's motorcade route, their eyes trained for any signs of trouble.
Technological Aids in Security
Technology has played a significant role in maintaining security during this visit. Drones hover above Athens, their electronic eyes surveying the city's streets. These unmanned aerial vehicles are part of a comprehensive security strategy that aims to ensure the Turkish President's visit goes off without a hitch.
Impact on Traffic
As Erdogan's motorcade moves around the city, traffic regulations are progressively implemented. Expect to see stoppages in traffic and parking bans in various parts of central Athens. These regulations are flexible, with adjustments made based on prevailing traffic conditions. Major thoroughfares such as Kifisias Avenue, Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, and Alexandra Avenue are among those likely to be affected.
As the city waits for the Syntagma metro station to resume operations at 6:00 pm, the atmosphere in Athens is one of anticipation. The Turkish President's visit, with all its attendant security measures, has brought a different rhythm to the city's pulse, one that will be remembered for the years to come.