ANKARA, Turkey (Reuter) - The Turkish town of Adana has banned men kissing other men in public on the grounds that it is not very sanitary -- although other mixes of kisses are deemed all right.

"It is unhygienic for two men to bring their cheeks together in Adana's summer heat of 40 degrees (104 Fahrenheit)," Zeki Eker, an official at Adana municipality in southern Turkey, said Monday. "Just imagine what could happen with all that sweat. Besides, it is against our religion."

People in mainly Muslim Turkey traditionally kiss friends of either sex on the cheek in greeting and men embracing or holdinghands is a common sight.

Eker said the municipality had put up posters to try to boost the campaign, started in January when the mayor refused to kiss male wellwishers during his pre-election rounds.

"(Such) kissing was banned as a result of that campaign. We don't interfere with women kissing women or men and women kissing," Eker said, without explaining how this combination avoided the effects of the summer heat.



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