News / Europe

Turkey Considers Tighter Limits on Alcohol Sale, Consumption

Bartender Samet Kardas smokes as he serves beer at a bar in Istanbul, Turkey, Jul. 14, 2009.
Bartender Samet Kardas smokes as he serves beer at a bar in Istanbul, Turkey, Jul. 14, 2009.
Reuters
— The Turkish government has prepared a draft law that would ban advertising alcoholic drinks in what officials say is an effort to protect children but could further divide religious and secularist Turks.
    
The bill, which was sent to parliament on Friday, would also ban companies that produce alcohol from sponsoring events, restrict where alcoholic drinks are sold and consumed, and require Turkish producers to place health warnings on packaging.
    
“Our aim is to protect society, particularly children and youth from taking up these habits at an early age, and not to limit an adult's alcohol consumption,” Yahya Akman, a lawmaker in the ruling AK Party and one of the draft's signatories, told Reuters on Monday.
    
The move was made only weeks after the conservative prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, who is known for his dislike of alcohol, declared ayran, a non-alcoholic, yogurt refreshment as the national drink.
    
It follows a ban on drinks service on several routes flown by state-run Turkish Airlines.
    
Islam prohibits the consumption of alcohol. Although Turkey's population is 99 percent Muslim, it has a secular constitution. It belongs to NATO and is a candidate for European Union membership.
    
Many secularist-minded Turks fear tighter rules on drinking could undermine the separation of state and religion.
    
The bill, expected to become a law before parliament recesses in July, would bar venues that allow the sale and consumption of alcohol from openly displaying the products to people outside.
    
The government says it is not attempting to interfere in people's lives and is trying to bring Turkey up to European norms by controlling alcohol sales and protecting the younger generation as it negotiates to enter the EU.
    
“This is to make sure that alcohol consumption is not encouraged among young people. The state has a responsibility to protect the family and the public,” Akman said.
    
Passage of the law would also be another blow to local brewers that are already grappling with taxes that are more than 100 percent on alcohol, one of the highest in the world.
    
Akman said public health is a higher priority than companies' revenues.
    
“A company's profit is insignificant when compared with the health of the general public, which is what's at stake here.”

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid