Ankara puts the screws on booze

The Turkish government is contemplating new restrictions on alcohol sale and consumption in the country

by The Commentator on 15 May 2013 12:30

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Turkey's government has prepared a draft law that would restrict where alcoholic drinks are sold and consumed in what officials say is an "effort to protect children".

The draft, which Al-Arabiya reports was sent to the Turkish parliament on Friday, would also ban companies that produce alcohol from sponsoring events. It would ban the advertisement of alcoholic drinks, and require Turkish producers to place health warnings on packaging.

The bill is expected to become law before the Turkish parliamentary recess in July.

The supporters of the measure say the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) bill seeks to protect society, particularly children, from the harmful effects of alcohol.

The text comes as part of a broad legislative package and will initially be discussed Wednesday by a committee before being voted on in the plenary, a parliamentary source said.

Critics maintain that the move is the latest in a campaign by the AKP to "Islamize" Turkish society by stealth, and constitutes an intrusion into private life and into the business world.

According to figures provided by national statistics institute TurkStat, 85 percent of Turks do not consume alcohol.

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