Turkey - small--scale retailers to demonstrate against smoking ban..

August 14, 2009 - Coffeehouse owners are preparing to hold a demonstration next week against Turkey's indoor smoking ban, claiming that sales decreased since the ban went into effect on July 19. Murat Ağaoğlu, head of the Turkey Coffeehouses and Refreshment Stand Owners' Federation, stated yesterday that they are planning to have a protest in Ankara on August 18.

“Our government did not take into consideration small-scale retailers' worries while adopting laws and regulations regarding a smoking ban one year ago. As representatives of small-scale retailers, we told the administrations our reservations. They listened to us, and they gave us one year in which the smoking ban was not implemented for bars, pubs, coffeehouses and restaurants even though it was [implemented] in other closed-area establishments. We also demanded smoking and nonsmoking sections in coffeehouses,” Ağaoğlu indicated in a written statement. However, he further stated that the ban has been negatively affecting small-scale retailers and they are “unable to earn their bread.”

“Because of the ban, our coffeehouse owners are in a difficult position. They cannot pay their debts; they cannot conduct their business as easily as in the past,” he pointed out, adding that they are not against the smoking ban but demand that smokers should be taken into consideration as much as nonsmokers.

Reference: Coffeehouse owners to demonstrate against smoking ban, Today's Zaman, 8/13/2009.

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