I never thought I’d have to write about a smoking ban in Turkey. It just struck me as one of a handful of locations that would never extinguish the flame. But, on July 19, the impossible will come to pass.
In part, it exists already. Since May of last year, smoking has not been permitted in Turkish taxes, malls, offices and ferries. Of course, the prohibition does not seem to have been taken literally. Cabbies, for example, pass ashtrays back to passengers, so they can duck down, smoke … and not get caught.
The rules become much tougher this July. Lighting up will not be permitted in any enclosed establishment. Unless you’re sitting outside, you won’t be smoking in Istanbul. Fines of $2,800 suggest serious consequences.
This is expected to cause financial woes for roughly 15,000 teahouses in Istanbul, according to The Atlantic. Hundreds have shut down already, and the absence of smoking in these men’s havens, at a minimum, provides additional pressure.
Other signs of the apocalypse were not reported in the article, but you have to imagine they’re coming soon.