Alcohol Regulation in Turkey Hits Nerve

on 16/01/11 at 10:48 pm

Booze News

ISTANBUL—In the running debate over whether Turkey’s government is chipping away at the foundations of one of the region’s few secular democracies, a new front has opened: alcohol.

A top Turkish official on Thursday defended regulations announced last week on the sale and promotion of alcohol, a tightened regime that has reignited claims that the government has a hidden Islamist agenda. Islam forbids alcohol consumption.

“Our goal is not to limit anybody’s freedom. What we are doing is to make sure there is no irresponsible consumption within the framework of universal values,” said Faruk Celik, minister for labor and social security and a leading voice in the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP. Claims of a hidden agenda were baseless, he told reporters in Istanbul.

{Full story via WSJ}

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