A heavy snowstorm paralyzed life in Istanbul on Saturday, with hundreds of flights canceled and the Bosphorus closed to shipping traffic. The snowstorm dumped almost 40 centimeters (16 inches) of snow in parts of the Turkish metropolis overnight, causing havoc on roads as travelers sought to leave the city for the weekend getaway.

For those not traveling, the snow, however, provided a rare chance to see Istanbul’s famous minaret and dome-studded skyline caked in a white layer of snow. Flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) canceled some 500 flights from both the main Ataturk and Sabiha Gokcen airports, with the snow also bringing poor visibility. READ MORE