Update on Turkey
For background information see: http://www.essentialaction.org/tobacco/letter/tr0201.html

Tue, 12 Feb 2002

Elif Dagli reports that the combined efforts of the Turkish tobacco control community and the GPTC letter writing campaign have led the World Bank to issue a public statement today re: its policy on tobacco and tobacco industry sponsored "youth smoking prevention" programs. An excerpt:

"The World Bank explicitly does not endorse youth anti-smoking programs supported by the tobacco industry. Many of these programs urge youth to wait until they are old enough to smoke. Instead of reducing tobacco use among young people, these programs may encourage it. It is hard to see how a company that sells cigarettes can be a credible partner in efforts to reduce smoking."

The statement is posted on the World Bank's website http://www.worldbank.org.tr (under "Special Interests"). You can also access it at: http://www.essentialaction.org/tobacco/letter/tr0201wb.html

Meanwhile, Elif and her colleagues continue to expose the bogus "youth smoking prevention" program in Turkey. They recently held a successful press conference at which they distributed packets of information, including a press release, facts about industry "youth" programs, and the letter they received from the World Bank's Turkey Country Director. The press conference was aired on at least one TV channel and appeared in the country's far left and right newspapers (the main "politically central" newspaper and television channel are owned by a conglomerate with ties to Philip Morris). Elif has also spoken with the Turkish Minister of Privatization on the phone.

A big thanks to the following GPTC participants who have emailed and faxed letters so far:
Michel Kamandeu (Cameroon), Véronique Le Clézio (Mauritius), Colin Richardson (Papua New Guinea), Cornel Radu (Romania), Prakit Vateesatokit (Thailand), Adriana Menéndez (Uruguay), Jennifer Wieczorek (CO - USA)

Letters are still needed to the Turkish President, Prime Minister, and Minister of Privatization! For talking points and contact information see: http://www.essentialaction.org/tobacco/letter/tr0201.html

Essential Action
Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control

P.O. Box 19405 ~ Washington, DC 20036
Tel: +1 202-387-8030 ~ Fax: +1 202-234-5176
Email: tobacco@essential.org