brand of smokes manufactured and sold by the government owned Tekel
. I personally came across it when doing my military service
during 2001, when a friend held a pack of 'em up for me to try.
Until quite recently, they used to be the economy-fags of choice, following other cheap brands such as Best, Samsun, Yeni Harman, and the legendary Maltepe and Birinci. They initially went on the market a few years ago, and quite baffled store owners because both longs and shorts cost the same amount.
In terms of taste Ballica does not have much to offer. Say what you will about Turkish tobacco (responsible for the créme de la créme of over the counter ciggies, Camel) it's definitely not present here. No, it's the conversation value that had people buying, in addition, of course, to economic constraints. The name in itself is commonly pronounced Ballika (although it is supposed to be Bal-luh-juh) by some people I know, as it conjures up something like Metallica. Add to this the eerie resemblance of the tobacco leaf in front of the pack to marijuana, and you have something that graces café tables and bars all over the place.