Europe

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gets smoker fined

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Turkish president's critics accuse him of meddling in people's private lives

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ordered police to fine a man after catching him smoking in a cafe.

The president was visiting a busy street in Istanbul's Esenler district when he spotted the man smoking on an upper floor.

He wagged his finger at him, saying "there is a penalty for that".

Police were then ordered to fine him. Smoking is banned in public buildings in Turkey, including bars and restaurants.

Video footage showed an irritated President Erdogan tell aides the smoking man was "shameless".

"He is still smoking despite the president having told him not to," the president said.

The cafe was also fined 6,000 lira ($2,680) for violating the smoking ban.

The incident has prompted a backlash on social media, with critics accusing the president of increasing interference in private lives.

The president is no fan of smoking - he once declared that it posed a danger to Turkey "even greater than the threat of terrorism".

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