Arab Today, arab today turkey nargileh culture under threat
Last Updated : GMT 00:15:33
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Turkey nargileh culture under threat

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Turkey nargileh culture under threat

Ankara - AFP

Just like the centuries-old coffee tradition, the nargileh, or water pipe, is a mainstay of Turkish culture but authorities are clamping down on this ancient social ritual that health experts say is as harmful to health as smoking regular cigarettes. Fans of the water pipe, also known as a hookah or shisha, can no longer get their fix in cafes, bars, and restaurants after a law banning smoking from closed public spaces came into force in January. This new measure is a sign that the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) means business in its crackdown on smoking in a country where almost a third of adults puff away. In 2009, authorities banned smoking in public places and slapped taxes on both alcohol and tobacco products. The tax imposed on cigarettes rose by a staggering 195 percent between 2005 and 2011. The result: a 15-percent drop in cigarette sales. Cunning hookah cafe managers soon found ways around the ban, taunting authorities by serving customers on outside terraces, but sheltered from the elements by bay windows. Cafes also changed their menus to offer more fruity mixes with a lower tobacco content that won over even Istanbul's more traditional smoking dens, and caught on with tourists. But this year's measure is more severe, and little appreciated by nargileh fans in the downtown Kizilay neighbourhood in the heart of the capital Ankara. "Before 2009, we sold 300 hookahs daily. Now it is only 50 and the new measure will bring down our business," laments Alican Ali, a waiter at the Tombeki cafe. On the cafe's terrace, students -- both girls and boys -- pull on their pipes and chat over tea or coffee, or a game of "tavla", the Turkish backgammon. A smell of cinnamon, apricot and apple tobacco fills the air. Popular in much of the Middle East and parts of Asia, the water pipe goes by a number of names including hookah in India and Pakistan and shisha in Egypt, derived from hashish, for which the pipe was originally used. Essentially a male past-time, the nargileh has enjoyed a revival among Turkish young people in recent years and is now smoked by both men and women. In 2010, the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) of 14 countries, supported by the World Health Organisation, found that most of Turkey's hookah smokers were aged between 15 and 24. Keen to cash in on the trend, a crop of specialist websites now offer tobacco flavours ranging from cappuccino to watermelon, and funky coloured bases and hoses to personalise a pipe. The hookah is prepared by filling the base with water, crumbling tobacco of choice into a bowl and lighting charcoal in a ritual intrinsically linked to the Turkish culture. People can then while away the hours, inhaling at leisure. But with the new law forcing them outside into the cold or boiling sun to smoke, pipe lovers fear the experience will not be the same. "It will be difficult to stand in the cold or in the sun for two hours. With a cigarette, you can take a puff whenever you like but the hookah needs preparation, time and a space, which give it a very special character," says the bartender at Tombeki, who did not give his name. "The nargileh is about conviviality and friendship in a world where we are forced to live at 100 miles an hour." At the next table, two students are quietly sipping their tea, a hookah on the go. "I am well aware that it is bad for health but it is not like smoking," says 23-year-old Elif Karadele, who smokes every day. This is exactly the misconception that health specialists take issue with: fruity it may be, but the tobacco in the nargileh is just as damaging to health as regular smoking, if not more so, doctors warn. According to findings from the US-based Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, an hour-long session with a nargileh is the equivalent of inhaling 100-200 cigarettes. The bigger intake of breath needed to inhale from a water pipe means hookah users may absorb higher concentrations of toxins. "The hookah flavours are even more dangerous since smokers think they are inhaling something harmless," specialist Cengizhan Elmas warns. "Even if there is little tobacco, people inhale toxic substances such as carbon monoxide and heavy metals" present in the charcoal used to heat the pipe, he adds. Smoking a shisha can cause the same kinds of diseases as cigarettes, the US centre found, including oral and lung cancers, and decrease fertility. But for the moment the threat appears to remain fairly limited: the GATS study found that just 2.3 percent of Turkey's smokers used water pipes. Tombeki cafe regular Nuri Aydin says he has no intention of giving up the pipe. "I come here three or four times a week. It is a passion," says the 24-year-old. "I saw my father and grandfather smoking and I am keeping up the tradition. They should let us do it!"

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today turkey nargileh culture under threat Arab Today, arab today turkey nargileh culture under threat

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today turkey nargileh culture under threat Arab Today, arab today turkey nargileh culture under threat

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Arab tradition glitters in Colombia

GMT 12:59 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Arab tradition glitters in Colombia
Arab Today, arab today Second US judge orders freeze

GMT 08:04 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Second US judge orders freeze
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Silent Republicans have their reasons

GMT 16:55 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Silent Republicans have their reasons
Arab Today, arab today Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge

GMT 11:26 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Sidem reveals plan to improve education

GMT 15:52 2017 Friday ,06 October

Sidem reveals plan to improve education
Arab Today, arab today Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action

GMT 10:54 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action
Arab Today, arab today Massacre fears spark race

GMT 19:09 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Massacre fears spark race
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars

GMT 06:56 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars
Arab Today, arab today Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs

GMT 10:53 2017 Sunday ,15 October

Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs
Arab Today, arab today Hussein Fahmy happy for honoring in festival

GMT 07:47 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Hussein Fahmy happy for honoring in festival
Arab Today, arab today Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple

GMT 16:00 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple

GMT 09:31 2017 Monday ,16 October

Dalal Abdel Aziz happy for “Seventh Neighbor”

GMT 18:15 2017 Monday ,16 October

British actress becomes fifth woman

GMT 18:29 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Designer produced new set of ornaments

GMT 05:11 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Three killed, 360,000 without power

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 23:42 2017 Monday ,16 October

Better Marriages Make

GMT 06:52 2017 Monday ,16 October

Airbus CEO says won't cling to job

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 20:46 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Qualcomm files lawsuits in China to ban iPhones

GMT 19:29 2017 Tuesday ,29 August

Yomna: decoration leaved positive effects
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday