The Greek God of revelries and alcohol Bacchus would not be very happy with the Turkish government at present. The Turkish Parliament has decided to ban the sale of alcohol after sundown. Naturally this has led to wild controversy among countrymen who do not want the politicians to meddle in their personal life or direct their personal choices. It is the ruling party of Turkey named Justice and Development Party that raised talks about the bill first in the Parliament. Now that the bill is passed by the Parliament, the Turkish people have started opposing it with vehemence.
The Ruling party says that they want to protect the young generations from decaying. According to their public statement sheer concern for the public health and moral character has led to the decision of banning the sale of alcohol at night. Many can smell political agenda behind this sudden move. Turkey is a country where eastern and western cultures have merged beyond recognition. It is definitely an Islamic country but it has never observed the Islamic rules as obstinately as it is doing now. The new legislation not only prohibits the sale of alcohol but also restricts the alcohol selling companies from sponsoring events and promoting their brands publicly. The citizens who have enjoyed personal freedom all their lives are protesting against such violation of personal freedom openly. Turkey is a secular country and this sort of legislation has raised many eye-brows around the globe both in surprise and indignation.
The ruling party’s Planning and Budget Commission head has expressed his opinion appraising the new legislation. According to him, Turkey is not the first place with a ban on the sale of alcohol at night. In Sweden, alcohol selling is banned after 7 pm on weekdays and 3 pm on Saturdays. The Scandinavian countries also follow similar ban on alcohol selling. The legislation passed recently is not as strict as the Swedish one according to some AKP loyalists. It bans the sale of alcohol between 10 pm to 6 am.
The Republican People’s Party member Musa Cam thinks that the government or anyone else does not have the right to dictate the personal choices of the citizens of a secular country like Turkey. Some opposition party members have also questioned the tourism policies of present government as Turkey is highly dependent on tourism for its annual income and the ban on alcohol sale at night will surely affect this sector.