ALANYA - Anatolia News Agency

The Sunpark Hotel Group, based in the Mediterranean city of Antalya, announced recently that it would not employ any smokers in its hotels.
�Employees were banned from smoking in the facility as of 2008 in order to increase service quality,� said Ekrem Curmal, general coordinator of the Sunpark Hotel Group, which operates the Sunpark Beach, Sunpark Marine and Sunpark Garden hotels.
Curmal said in 2007 the hotel group was given a certificate commending its sensitivity to the environment by tour operator Thomas Cook and added that they operated to European Union standards and that all new employees would be chosen only from nonsmokers.
He said smoking was banned in rooms and that customers had been accepting of the restrictions.
�Smokers harm not only themselves but people around them. They walk with smoke over their head. Nobody wants such a person to serve them. With a decision that we made in the beginning of 2008, most of our staff quit smoking, and most of them are trying to do it. Our condition for new employees is that they be nonsmokers.�
Curmal said they were also working on helping current staff who smoke to quit by 2009. �This condition sometimes gets us into difficulty but we don't think of giving it up,� he said.