Turkey’s parliament has debated a proposal to extend the country’s smoking ban to all enclosed public areas. The draft bill would make smoking in bars, restaurants and coffee shops illegal.
“When you are in a restaurant you don’t have the right to ask the person at the table next to you to stop smoking” said one man, while another added; “I think its the right decision to take but I don’t think anyone will take any notice.”
The ban would be widened to include some open-air spaces like sports stadia and playgrounds. It is already banned on planes and buses but taxis, ferries and trains would also now be included. Restaurant and bar owners could be fined up to 3000 euros if they allow their customers to light up: “I think this decision is long overdue. Restaurants will be much better places to eat and socialise if they are smoke-free.”
Enforcing the existing ban on the 40 percent of Turkey’s population who are committed smokers has not been easy.
A vote is likely to be held in the coming days.