Turkey’s Tobacco Control Policies in Comparative Perspective: An Analysis of Anti-Tobacco NGO Stances

Sercan Zülfikar
Bogazici University the Graduate Program in Social Policy
Graduation Date: 
Volkan Yılmaz

This thesis explores Turkey’s tobacco control policies from a historical and comparative perspective and situates the country’s tobacco control policy framework within the comparative tobacco control regime framework. To compensate for the static analysis that the regime framework offers, the thesis complements this analysis with a qualitative analysis of six anti-tobacco NGO stances on the Turkish tobacco control policies. In doing so, the thesis relies on a qualitative thematic analysis of two sources of data: the review of tobacco control legislation, policy reports and secondary literature and semi-structured interviews with representatives of six influential anti-tobacco advocacy NGOs. The thesis demonstrates that the historical trajectory of Turkish tobacco control policies can be analyzed in four periods: the first period (1983-1996) without any tobacco control legislation; the second period (1996-2006) when the first tobacco control law was legislated; the third period (2006-2011) which significantly expanded the scope of its tobacco control policies; and the fourth period (2011- to the present), during which time progress on tobacco control measures has been stagnant and the enforcement has been loosened. The thesis argues that tobacco control policies in Turkey has undergone a transformation process from being a hands-off control regime to a high-control one. An analysis of interviews with representatives of anti-tobacco NGOs, however, reveals that Turkey has lost its commitment to tobacco control in recent years, which signifies a tendency towards transformation into a moderate control regime.