WASHINGTON — Turkish politicians never learn. Even after significant and widespread protests, the Turkish government continues to curtail the liberties of the Turkish people.
A Reuters blog reports that Turkey banned alcohol advertising and curtailed sales last Friday, which brought heavy criticism from secularists and the country’s breweries. As America learned during the Prohibition, alcohol bans and laws do not last very long and are not very efficient.
What are the restrictions? Ban on shops selling alcohol from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. with accompanying fines of about $270,000 for those who violate those laws by selling it during these times. If sold to minors, it could result in a 1-year jail sentence.
Turkey has long been a secular nation with Muslim people, but whose secularism was protected in the country’s constitution. Current Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) have been criticized for trying to strike down the barriers between church and state.
The Reuters blog said that the AKP has curtailed alcohol use and distribution, increasing taxes and led to the country’s main commercial flight Turkish Airlines stoppage of serving alcohol on some domestic flights.
What is Erdogan’s response? “There are such regulations everywhere in the world. The youth of a nation should be protected from bad habits”.