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LOCAL > Alcohol price in Turkey ‘double’ Europe average

ISTANBUL

As Turkey’s alcohol consumption becomes a political issue, the country’s state statistics institution TÜİK reveals that citizens pay double the European average for alcoholic beverages

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The TÜİK survey compared Turkey to the 27 members of European Union and the European Free Trade Association, as well as acceding states and candidate countries. DAILY NEWS photo

The TÜİK survey compared Turkey to the 27 members of European Union and the European Free Trade Association, as well as acceding states and candidate countries. DAILY NEWS photo

Turkish consumers pay more than double the price for alcoholic beverages compared to those in the European Union countries, while many food items stand at a lower price, a recent survey by the state-run Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) showed.

TÜİK’s figures released on June 21 showed that the average price of an alcoholic beverage was 205 percent more than the European average.

The country groups included in the comparison were the 27 member states of European Union, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries (Switzerland, Iceland and Norway), one acceding state (Croatia), four candidate countries (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey), and two potential candidate countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Alcohol consumption has been a hot topic for Turkey in recent months after the Turkish government’s proposal to amend a law restricting the sales of alcoholic beverages.

The Turkish government also has a policy to raise the taxes for alcoholic products.

“If the prices are increasing, excuse us, but we have to. In the ÖTVs [the Special Consumption Tax], this [taxation on alcoholic beverages] is our most important source of income, as we don’t have any oil wells. That’s why we are working on this,” Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan had said, speaking at the Global Alcohol Policy Symposium held in Istanbul on April 26.

On May 24, Parliament’s General Assembly adopted the alcohol bill proposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), tightening restrictions on the sale and advertising of alcoholic beverages. Retailers will no longer be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to the bill.

The controversial alcohol law is seen as one of the reasons protesters have taken to the streets every night as part of the Taksim Gezi Park protests to voice demands that include respect for their lifestyles.

Erdoğan on May 28 said the those drinking alcohol should do it in their own houses, nobody would oppose such an action.

“If you are going to drink [alcohol], then drink your alcohol in your house,” he had said.

June/22/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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Brit in Turkey

6/29/2013 12:11:20 PM

mara: Tell your brother in law he can get a nitrous oxide conversion here. It will go like a dragster and just as dangerous!

mara mcglothin

6/28/2013 6:30:31 PM

BRIT My brother in law paid 250,000 euros for an M5 in Turkey, not to mention the tax, and it isn't EVEN an really an M, and has no twin turbo etc. Just the luxury items with a go kart motor. Oh and ERIC, while the conversation is about alcohol, that is only the tip of the iceberg! As an American, in our civilized land, when I married a Turkish muslim, I didn't have to worry about my family killing me due to my attack on their honor. Now talk about civilized.

Brit in Turkey

6/27/2013 8:16:04 PM

mara: In the UK a BMW M3 is £58K to £73K, an M5 £72K to £94K depending on spec. I rest my case about "rip off Britain". Today one litre of 97 octane petrol in Turkey TL4.88! I also have to pay full price (as if I owned a truck) for heating oil! Thank goodness other things are cheaper here in Turkey to offset some of the outrageous prices.

mara mcglothin

6/26/2013 7:45:25 PM

BRIT You pay over a 200,000 thousand Euros for a BMW M series in Turkey, while in small town America the same car goes for about 60,000 usd. Alcohol is expensive in Turkey in general, but I have seen a generous shot of Black Label go for 50 tl in five star restaurants along the Bosporus. French wine in the same restaurant was cheaper than the Turkish.

Eric Martin

6/26/2013 11:34:20 AM

Seems lots of foreigners are worried about alcohol laws and how Turkish people vote in their elections. Hmm. interesting. Maybe Turkey should change the laws to allow these outsiders & vacationers to vote in the elections. They can teach Turkey how to be more 'modern' and 'civilized'.

Brit in Turkey

6/25/2013 10:56:53 AM

cezer: In 2006 I bought a new car here in Turkey (Japanese, 2.5 litre) and with the special purchase tax at only 84% as it was then (135% now) and VAT at 18% it was almost exactly 50% more than it would have been in UK (TL80,000 or about £36,000. In UK £24,000). If you are wondering about the maths of this, the special purchase tax seems to be only on a basic car and not all the luxuries. In the US about the same time almost an identical spec was $24,000 (about £15,000).

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

6/24/2013 5:34:13 PM

Brit in Turkey: Britain is overall more expensive then the US, but the booze is almost the same price. Last time I bought a car was 2004, so I don't know current prices that well. Yet, if you pay 17K you can get a nice Toyota Corolla, 35K gets you a pretty good car with bells and whistles.

Brit in Turkey

6/24/2013 12:40:01 PM

cezer: And don't get me going on the price of cars in US vs UK!

Brit in Turkey

6/24/2013 12:38:18 PM

cezer: It's a while since I was back in the UK, but certainly the airport duty-free price for 1 litre whisky was about Euro 18, so perhaps the same as your price. Jack Daniels is always more. Generally prices in the US, especially for high tech equipment are the same in Dollars as in Sterling. So an item of $20 in the US is £20 in the UK. Rip-off Britain!

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

6/24/2013 2:00:31 AM

Brit in Turkey: Johnnie Walker red label 750ml is $23 (black label $30) on-sale price in a warehouse like store here in CO. Some British colleagues told me that the booze is cheap in Britain. Do you think the UK is cheaper than the US in this sense.
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