Erdoğan orders village heads to stop smoking, seizes cigarette packages
ISTANBULAn official from the Turkish Presidency has shared images of cigarette boxes belonging to village heads (muhtars) who have reportedly quit smoking at the request of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, known as a fierce opponent of smokers.
Village heads promised to quit smoking during their meeting with Erdoğan on Aug. 19, Hasan Doğan stated.
“Many of our village heads promised to quit smoking to our president,” Doğan tweeted, along with an image showing boxes on which were written the names of the village heads who had vowed to quit smoking.
This is not the first time Erdoğan has expressed his objection to smoking.
Last year, he was recorded singling out a man who was smoking a cigarette in a cafe while Erdoğan was visiting Istanbul’s Esenler district.
Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş, who was present at the scene, tried to defuse the tension by suggesting that the man “could promise that he won’t smoke again” and the issue could be closed. But Erdoğan rejected this suggestion, insisting that the man smoking in an enclosed public area must be penalized on the spot.
“He has blatantly behaved rudely. This man is just sitting there and keeps smoking even after the president tells him not to,” he was caught on camera saying.
Earlier this year, Erdoğan sent his first personal tweet on World Quit Smoking Day to give an anti-smoking message.
“Today is Feb. 9, World Quit Smoking Day. Be strong-willed and do not surrender to a cigarette,” Erdoğan tweeted.