ISTANBUL, July 1 (Xinhua) -- A record heat wave from North Africa pushed the temperature in Istanbul to more than 40 degrees Celsius on Saturday, while city officials said it felt like 45 degrees.
Many locals flocked to the seaside along the Bosporus Strait that divides the city's European and Asian parts, despite warnings by officials of potential risks of high temperatures.
Others took respite under the shadow of trees, as children were seen swimming in ponds in the parks.
"This is the hottest day in the city in almost 15 years," said Yasar Dikmen, a retired man taking shelter in a seaside park in the Bebek neighborhood.
A young man even said he was feeling as if in a giant oven.
Physicians, through media publications, are advising the elderly, children and those with chronic ailments to avoid going outdoors during some period of the day.
"Avoid heavy and fatty foods and consume plenty of liquid," a physician was quoted as saying by NTV news channel.