Thousands of Turkish drivers fined for smoking in cars

Traffic police have fined over 5,000 people across Turkey for smoking in their cars after a complaint by the president last week, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Thursday, citing a statement from the Interior Ministry.

"A total of 37,065 personnel across the country enforced the smoke-free cars policy on Wednesday aided by 169 sniffer dogs," Anadolu said, adding that some 150,000 vehicles were checked.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, known for his fierce opposition to smoking, signalled a new policy which bans smoking even in private cars on Sept. 20 during the Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s central committee meeting.

"On my way to an event with Fahrettin Altun, I saw a car in the traffic. There were children inside, and their father was smoking in the driver's seat. These things cannot happen. Why are they not punished? Smoking must also be completely prohibited in private vehicles," Erdoğan said.