• April 24, 2024

Tobacco under pressure

 Tobacco under pressure

The leader of Turkey’s main opposition party, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, has said that Turkey’s oriental tobacco is being eradicated, according to a story by Zülfikar Doğan for Al-Monitor.

“In 2002, 405,882 families were making a living from tobacco,” said Kılıçdaroğlu during a CHP [Republican People’s Party, Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi] parliamentary meeting. “In 2015, that shrunk to 56,000. We gave up growing our own tobacco. Foreigners began importing, and as of 2012, Turkey suddenly became a net tobacco importer.”

Another problem, Kılıçdaroğlu said, concerned cigarette taxation, which stood at 84 percent and which had caused a sharp rise in the number of people rolling their own cigarettes.

The story reported that Turkey’s farmers, livestock producers and their related unions were emerging as a new and unexpected mass opposition in the country, staging rallies and marches to protest against sustained heavy economic losses.

Meanwhile, in the tobacco sector, growers are said to have reacted with fury to threats of heavy prison sentences and fines.

Tobacco growers have protested against new regulations restricting how, where and when Turks can produce tobacco.

The aim of the legislation was said to be aimed at preventing tobacco smuggling.

But the Tobacco Experts Association said that with the new restrictions, thousands of tobacco growers would be facing years in jail and heavy fines.

The association expressed opposition also to the liberalization of electronic cigarettes and alleged that the new regulations were drafted in line with wishes of foreign cigarette companies and would soon mean the end of the local tobacco industry.

The full story is at: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/10/turkey-farmers-protest-against-government-policies.html.