Turkey’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has fined the chairman of a national alcohol and tobacco platform for sharing the updated price listing of the country’s tobacco products on his social media, T24 news site reported on Saturday.
The chairman of Turkey TEKEL Dealers Platform Özgür Aybaş was fined some 237,000 liras ($12,759) by the ministry’s Tobacco and Alcohol Department Directorate for “advertising tobacco products” after he posted the latest cost list of the products in the country, according to T24.
The ministry fine cited a regulation which bans “the advertising and promotion of tobacco products and production companies” or campaigns which “promote and encourage’’ the use of said products, the news site said.
Turkey’s Islamist-leaning ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2002 introduced a special consumption tax, known as ÖTV, on alcohol and tobacco products and the tax has been increased several hundred folds over the party’s past two decades in power.
In October, Tobacco products in the country are set to register their sixth price hike since the beginning of the year, according to Turkish media reports, as inflation in the country has soared to above 83 percent in September, marking a 24-year high.
The official annual rate of consumer price increases reached 186.27 percent in September, compared to 181.37 percent in August, according to a monthly study released by independent economists from Turkey’s ENAG research institute.