Armed men ‘attack’ rakı festival in southern Turkey
ADANA – Doğan News AgencyA group of armed men reportedly opened fire and chanted anti-alcohol slogans at an annual rakı festival in the southern province of Adana on Dec. 12.
The group fired into the air with shotguns and threatened festivalgoers, who escaped in panic from the streets of the Kazancılar Bazaar of Adana’s Yüreğir district, where the festival was being celebrated.
Plainclothes later seized four suspects who slammed the tables with sticks and döner kebab knives.
After a short period of alarm following the attack, the festival continued with its planned music and festivities.
The festival, which has attracted thousands of people in previous years, had recently been in the headlines amid controversy over its name, originally dubbed the “World Rakı Festival.” Conservative anti-alcohol groups had objected to the festival and called for the authorities to ban it.
Adana Governor Mustafa Büyük said he had no authority to officially ban the festival, but he urged its organizers not to hold its sixth edition as planned on Dec. 12.
Upon Büyük’s urging, the festival’s name was changed from the “World Rakı Festival” to the “Adana Kebab and Turnip Festival.”