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ANKARA, Turkey — Patrons of a usually smoke-filled hookah bar stepped outside to light up Sunday as Turkey extended a ban on indoor public smoking to bars, restaurants and coffeehouses.

The ban in this nation of smokers came into effect at midnight Saturday despite protests from bar and coffeehouse owners who fear it will ruin businesses that have already been hit by the economic crisis.

"The country woke up this morning having carried out a cigarette revolution," an editorial in the newspaper Radikal read.

"Smokeless life has begun," was the headline on the Milliyet paper.

In Ankara's Sakarya street — famed for its fast food outlets, bars and beer halls — owners staged a brief protest saying many of the businesses there risked bankruptcy.

"We are good for the summer, as we can go outside, sit outside. But in winter it will be a problem," said Fatih Toprakkale, owner of Calcene hookah bar. "I am afraid that we may eventually have to close, which will be a shame as we employ about 15 people."

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic-oriented government widened a ban that already covered offices, public transport and shopping malls to now include bars and restaurants, intent on reducing smoking rates and the effects of secondhand smoke. The government says the previous prohibitions on indoor smoking have already cut smoking rates by seven percent.

Erdogan, a pious Muslim, doesn't smoke and stops people from smoking near him, confiscating cigarette packs and making people promise to quit, an aide said. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules that prohibit state employees to speak to reporters without prior permission.

The smoking ban brings Turkey in line with practices in the European Union, which it hopes to join.

But avid smokers say the Islamic-rooted government is trying to indirectly punish establishments that serve alcohol by banning smoking.

"We are working to protect our future, to save our youth," Health Minister Recep Akdag said.

Under the new legislation, patrons violating the ban will be fined 69 Turkish Lira ($45), while owners who do not enforce the ban could be fined between 560 and 5,600 Turkish Lira ($366-$3,660). Littering with cigarette butts carries a 25 Turkish Lira ($16) fine.

On Sunday, members of a 4,500-person team established to enforce the new ban began carrying out surprise checks on bars and restaurants in Ankara and Istanbul, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.

An association of coffeehouse owners said it would take legal action to try and have the ban overturned, saying it would take 70,000 establishments to the brink of ruin.

"Ninety-five percent of the people who frequent coffeehouses are smokers. The ban will force the establishments to close down one by one since smokers will stop coming," said Huseyin Menekse, who heads the association.

"To smoke like a Turk" is an expression used in many European countries to describe heavy smokers and the government says more than 100,000 people die annually in Turkey from smoking-related illnesses.

At EskiYeni (OldNew) Bar on Sakarya, customers feted the "The Last Night of Smoking" Saturday night, dancing to the rhythm of cigarette-themed songs, including: "If only I could wrap you in my cigarette smoke and keep you forever."

Yesilay, an organization devoted to reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption, says around 40 percent of Turks over the age of 15 are smokers, consuming around 17 million packs a day.

Associated Press Writer Gulden Alp contributed to this report.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iDJVozlXvmFeGqZk0IotFVl8eYXwD99HJ6O00
 

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Bad move.

Not even in EU countries is the ban so strickt and absurd. They are usuing EU reforms to hide a different agenda as is usual with this government.

Refuse, Resist!
 

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France banned smoking in all public areas since last year
Is it banned for people to smoke at bus stops in France for example, or places that can be considered open air by most people but which is defined as a closed area by the new law?

This law is probably the most extreme, maybe only anti-smoking laws in puritan parts of America can match it.
 

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Today, it was fun to watch groups of people were smoking in front of the plazas, one group comes and other turns back to work. hopefully they won't stand anymore and many of them will quit in winter:yes:
 

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^^

I hope you won't be so pleased when alchohol is banned as well and women have to start to wear ninja outfits...


Remember Martin Niemöller;

"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then... they came for me... And by that time there was no one left to speak up."

EOM
 

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smoking is the sign of obscurantism, it's very old-fashioned and low class. I used to smoke but I quit now and very happy.

Plus smoking is not banned, just smokers banned from smoking their sh*t near of modern, healthy people. They can smoke till they die in their holes. Just stay away from public areas where there are many nonsmokers and children/babies around:yes:

Really I am serious, I was a smoker. I hate it now and I'm very sorry that I spent 5 years of my life with smoking that sh*t.
 

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Is it banned for people to smoke at bus stops in France for example, or places that can be considered open air by most people but which is defined as a closed area by the new law?

This law is probably the most extreme, maybe only anti-smoking laws in puritan parts of America can match it.
Yeh in Britain it is illegal to smoke at bus stops or any other public space that is sheltered even if the space is ultimately 'outside'
 

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Plus smoking is not banned, just smokers banned from smoking their sh*t near of modern, healthy people. They can smoke till they die in their holes. Just stay away from public areas where there are many nonsmokers and children/babies around:yes:
"Ninety-five percent of the people who frequent coffeehouses are smokers.
I'd imagine the other 5% are comfortable with the fact that they are exposed to second hand smoke.
 

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smoking is the sign of obscurantism, it's very old-fashioned and low class. I used to smoke but I quit now and very happy.

Plus smoking is not banned, just smokers banned from smoking their sh*t near of modern, healthy people. They can smoke till they die in their holes. Just stay away from public areas where there are many nonsmokers and children/babies around:yes:

Really I am serious, I was a smoker. I hate it now and I'm very sorry that I spent 5 years of my life with smoking that sh*t.
You should be aware that the real target here are Cafes, bars and night clubs, all places that the Islamists see as corrupt places of sin where men and women mingle and act all unislamic. Take the new heavy restrictions on alchoholic bevarages advertsiments, it being implamented together with the smoking ban..conicidence?

After these establishments start to go bankrupt and thus shut down, without the need for a ban that could create an uproar, the next step will be putting pressure on shops that sell alchohol, the muncipality gives licences to them and they are not renewing licenses for many of them, guess what next, you won't be able to find something to drink even in your own home without having to go shop at some gross market out of town, no ban but a cut down on alchohol through other methods.

So cheer this ban on in the way it is implemented, as the government declares one more Islamic victory against our seculer lifestyle.

PS: I am not against smoking bans, just bans which are ridiculous and do not take into consideration the fact that in our country most people who go to bars etc are smokers in the first place, not non-smokers, thus even mostly outdoor places with a tent roof being called indoors is ridiculous. Plus Germany for example allows smoking in some bars, etc, why didn't the government try that model?
 

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Yeh in Britain it is illegal to smoke at bus stops or any other public space that is sheltered even if the space is ultimately 'outside'
These are the most extreme cases, our government which is not so ready to adopt more important EU legislation suddenly when the situation is a smoking ban decides to accept the most extreme that most EU countries don't even implement.

I am not naive to believe that they did this to confirm with EU norms rather than with their religous values.
 

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I 'understand' what you're afraid of.. In Bahrain we have a similar situation, where they are not really able to ban alcohol, so they are coming up with new ways and methods to 'limit' and 'control' it...

However, i do think ur being silly and 'extreme' yourself with your position on this anti-smoking legislation.. LoL..

Relax man.. Its not all about islamist conspiracies.. Anti-secularim conspiracies.. LoL

Your arguments about most ppl who go to bars/cafes are smokers anyways, is a bit silly.. Plus, in many countries that was the case and same fear.. Like Ireland, one of the first to implement the ban.. The irish are big drinkers as you know, and many who drink like to have a smoke as they drink.. So bars/Pubs were very much afraid of the resultant loss of business.. But they've all survived.. People adjust..

So relax.. It might affect businesses.. Especially in the beginning.. But then ppl will adjust... Pubs/bars/cafes will create smoking atriums/areas.. And the end effect in terms of loss of business will be minimal..

Even if the intentions/reasons for this ban aren't sincere, at the end of the day, it is for the best.. To protect the none smokers.. That is the real effect/result, and that is all that should matter..

I say all this, even though i am a smoker myself..

So, seriously, relax dude.. You're sounding like a secularism-demented-obsessed turk... LoL..
 

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^^

Even the most innocent looking move by this government is part of a dark agenda

I know my government well, and I don't care how it makes me look but as long as Turkish secularists are not as devious and paranoid as those Islamists we may lose all we have to utter darkness.

Having said that, the situation in Turkey is different than in the EU, here the smoking ban will hit establishments much much harder than the smoking ban hit establishments in countries like even France where smoking is also a part of the culture.

Unlike in countries like Ireland most of those who don't smoke don't do so for religous reasons, only a small educated minority of non smokers don't smoke for health reasons, and the number of those people will never be enough to fill the bars and cafes, most punters of bars and cafes are smokers who will weigh between paying a high sum for a beer or coffee and not be able to smoke along, and doing so at home for much cheaper and being able to smoke all they like.

At the moment it is summer, but in the winter many establishments will indeed go bankrupt, and believe me that is what the government is counting on.

PS: this law will also do the opposite of what it supposedly intends, as more people smoke more than they used to at home rather than outside the more children will be exposed to second hand smoking.
 

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Turknology, you sound like one of the scores of irritated smokers when they were enforcing the ban here in England, as B-Patriot said they all adusted. Would you really be so annoyed if you were a non-smoker? on the other hand it is more like you feel a bit 'down trodden' that you cannot smoke freely where you once were allowed to, correct? The smoking ban has become inevitable in spreading across the majority of states.
 

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I have basically stopped smoking (may have a cig every few months at most) for about a year now. My state (Illinois) passed a non-smoking ordinance a bit over a few years ago and it probably did have a bit of influence on my drive to stop (that and the obscene tax and making a pact with a family member to stop together). I have also probably gone to bars a bit less then I use as having a smoke at the bar was enjoyable. To me the bars do seem somewhat less full though it is hard to chalk that up to the economy or new law.

Even if it has been a small factor in my decision to stop smoking I still think the law is heavy handed and fit for a nanny state governing children not grown ups. The issue of smoking should be largely left for the owners and the patrons to decide. It is not our jobs as fellow citizens to stop people from themselves against dangers that are commonly well known. Are we going to prohibit sun tanning without protection next? Why don't we outlaw fatty red meat?

If non-smoking was such a popular idea then why not let establishment owners decide to forgo the money they would lose to non-smoking establishments that appealed to non-smokers? Ironically even though smoking is hell for non-smokers supposedly that incentive didn't win out so non-smokers want to throw down the self-righteous hammer of judgement on smokers and make smokers conform by the ballot box instead of the market place. I don't see the prohibition as much more then a classic case of tyranny of the self-righteous majority. So even as new non-smoker I refuse to do an conveniant about face and join the tyrannical and majority and now insist my current lifestyle and health choices be put upon others as well.
 

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Very good move by a very enlightened Prime Minister :) , I hope Malaysia will follow this and ban cigarettes altogether ( should be done gradually ) , I really really reallyyyyyyyyy hate Smokers! :bash: :bash: Smoking is simply childish and whenever I saw a smoker I totally lose respect towards him/her ( first impression )

The smoke that comes out is one prime reason for high cancer rate among population
 

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Very good move by a very enlightened Prime Minister :) , I hope Malaysia will follow this and ban cigarettes altogether ( should be done gradually ) , I really really reallyyyyyyyyy hate Smokers! :bash: :bash: Smoking is simply childish and whenever I saw a smoker I totally lose respect towards him/her ( first impression )

The smoke that comes out is one prime reason for high cancer rate among population
:applause: I wish Lebanon will follow ... I've literarily had tears running down my face before in clubs and bars in beirut because of all the smoke!
 

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Very good move by a very enlightened Prime Minister :) , I hope Malaysia will follow this and ban cigarettes altogether ( should be done gradually ) , I really really reallyyyyyyyyy hate Smokers! :bash: :bash: Smoking is simply childish and whenever I saw a smoker I totally lose respect towards him/her ( first impression )

The smoke that comes out is one prime reason for high cancer rate among population
[sarcasm] Prohobition has always been an effective of controlling and limiting the harm of drugs. [/sarcasm]

Just because you hate smoking doesn't mean you have a right to interfere with other's rights. You do, however, have a right to health. This means that smoking should be banned in indoor locations, where most patrons are non smokers. A blanket ban on cigarettes is counter-productive

I'm not sure as to how much cigarettes cost in Malaysia, but in New Zealand, a pack of 20 cigarettes costs the equivilant of around US$7. This is a strong deterent to smoking, and has drastically reduced smoking rates, and pays for the medical costs of treating smokers. This is in opposition to Egypt, where a a pack of smokes can be found for less than US$1. Smoking is flourishing there.

A ban will result in gangs having dominance over the market. This is a much worse situation than a government regulated and taxed industry.

You can keep your childish hate of smokers, but don't impose your views on others.
 
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