A new regulation by the Turkish Health Ministry has extended the coverage zone of the smoking ban over indoor areas and semi-outdoor areas. After the ministry had made their statement, a group of around 200 people who consisted of restaurant workers and owners took to the street and protested the smoking ban. Employers closed their businesses for a day in reaction to the negative impacts the new smoking ban on semi-outdoor areas will have on their business trade.
Taner Zeki Tacettin who spoke on behalf of cafes and restaurant owners said, “We don’t aim to eliminate capital punishments or break the law. We want to find a solution to survive. The People’s Health Center staff who had previously only sent complaints as well as conducting monthly routine inspections have recently begun to expose us to heavy punishment. The numbers of inspections began to increase to two or three times in a day. We can’t earn enough to cover expenses with heavy cash fines. The law has negatively affected more than 100 workplaces where there has been an investment of more than 1 million Turkish liras. We were obliged to shutter our businesses, and we will have to terminate contracts with our employees.” After the speech had been made, the crowd dispersed.