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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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