Cigarette prohibition ‘drama’ shot on film


Cafeteria manager Ahmet Kara has shot a 24-minute-long film depicting the difficulties faced by the establishment and its employees as a result of the new cigarette-smoking prohibition.

Despite being an important step to promote a healthy society, the prohibition of smoking in enclosed public locations, which went into effect on July 19th, 2009, has created difficulties for café operators. The reality of the dropping number of customers and the loss of jobs as a result was a source of inspiration for one café operator. Ahmet Kara operates a café located in Istanbul’s Fatih Unkapanı district and decided to detail the difficulties he and his employees have been faced with corresponding to the prohibition of smoking in cafes in a 24-minute short-film. Café employees have roles in the film which tracks the transition to the prohibition of smoking in a café in a sentimental style. Amongst the topics covered in the film is the collecting of ash trays before the prohibition was put in place, the decreasing number of customers which have had to be turned away in order to enforce the smoking ban, what the employees that later lost their jobs endured as well as the health problems faced by the café’s owner.

Kara, who used his own computer to edit, expressed that the film was dedicated to those that have lost their jobs as a result of the smoking ban. Kara states; “We are a café that offers tea, coffee and water pipes. We live with the constant fear that someone could walk through the door and issue us a fine at any moment. We want there to be prohibitions on smoking, however we would also like for there to be a middle ground. We are at an impasse. We are hopeful that new arrangements will be made, and at the very least, we want our rights to be protected.”


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