Amazing as it seems, but Turkey’s non-smoking revolution has begun. Months ago an Istanbul municipality introduced a law requiring restaurants and cafes to set aside a minimum area for non-smokers.
I thought Turkey would take many years to change its smoking habits but events are happening very quickly. Here are a few local examples I’ve observed:
* Istanbul Pastanesi (a cake shop near work) has a sign in Turkish that translates something like: “Smoking is allowed every second day, today is the other day.” This sign is on the wall everyday.
* Visitors to work are now far more likely to either smoke outside or ask if it okay to light-up inside instead of assuming it is okay
* The controller on the train from Mersin to Adana warned a man about smoking in the gangway, a practise previously ignored
* More places, including cinemas and cafes, now have non-smoking areas.
* The other weekend I saw my first quit-smoking business in Mersin:
One of my main dislikes of Turkey is the amount of cigarette smoke I have to tolerate. I will be very happy when I see the day smokers become the minority and respect non-smoker’s rights.