Now, I’m very aware that inside a holiday resort is not a good way to discern the conditions pertaining in the rest of the country, but already I have noticed a lot of differences. The smoking ban, for example.
Turkey passed their smoking ban in july this year, but they haven’t gone to town. There are bars here that are under cover, with open sides; quite large places that once you are well inside are pretty much enclosed. There’s no outside wall though, so you can smoke throughout. Even right at the bar. In fact, all the outside bars (see picture) allow you to smoke at the bar- and these are ones that The UK Righteous would definitely count as ‘enclosed.’ The laissez faire attitude to cigarettes seems to extend beyond the resort as we stopped at a petrol station en route from the airport and were told we could get off the bus to smoke, so long as we didn’t smoke right next to the pumps: “Well, this is Turkey!” proudly exclaimed the tour guide. Can you imagine if you tried this in the UK?
There was no smoking on our aeroplane, and the leaflet kindly informed me that “electronic cigarettes cannot be used on the plane” either, so I’m glad I bought nicotine gum and not an electrofag. In Turkey you can smoke a traditional cigarette at the bar, so long as there aren’t any walls, but on a british plane you can’t use a completely safe electronic cigarette.
There’s a shisha bar here too -completely enclosed- (which I fully intend to try before I come home) so the Turkish smoking ban obviously doesn’t extend to those, as it does back home (or does it? I remember two factions of The Righteous battling over it, but I can’t remember how it turned out).
One could say that maybe the laws of the land are relaxed in tourist resorts and that is possibly the case but even that would show a huge difference. Would Butlins be allowed smoking at the bar? The officials would count this place as enclosed walls or no and there would be fines all around. You’re not even allowed to smoke in an open-air, unmanned railway station, remember.
One reason for this may be that there are no Righteous in Turkey. There is definitely an Enemy Class, as shown by their recent PC battles over the hijab and the attempts to get them admitted into The Empire as well as their smoking legislation but they seem to lack the over-zealous ninnies required to enforce it. I’ve been pondering the differences (if any) between The Righteous and The Enemy Class for some time and may finally get the free time to publish my ponderings this week…
God help the Turks if they ever get allowed into the EU , they won’t know what’s hit them.