Governor of Aegean province defends anti-alcohol measures overturned by court
AFYONKARAHİSAR - Doğan News Agency
Afyonkarahisar Gov. İrfan Balkanlıoğlu. DHA photoThe Afyonkarahisar Governor’s Office has defended its decision to restrict alcohol consumption in the western province after a court recently struck down anti-drinking measures, saying its moves were not illegal.
“Despite media reports claiming otherwise, we did not implement anything outside of the present regulations,” Gov. İrfan Balkanlıoğlu said.
“If this decision has been overturned, then it means the court has misunderstood it. We will take measures once we are officially notified of the decision. If such a decision exists, we will appeal it,” he said.
“We only turned certain acts already banned by present regulations into flesh and bones,” he said. “If they want us to tolerate discomfort to Afyonkarahisar’s people, we will not allow it. Afyonkarahisar will continue being a city of peace.”
Balkanlıoğlu said they had turned the present regulation into “something people can understand.”
On April 27, 2012, the governor’s office banned the open sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in the province in the interests of preventing crime, alcohol-related traffic accidents and conserving public order.
The open sale and consumption of alcohol in parks, gardens, open spaces, highways, picnic areas, historical ruins and the interior of all vehicles were prohibited in accordance with the new directive, and the consumption – but not sale – of alcohol was banned in train stations, bus terminals, squares, avenues, streets, historical and cultural venues, places of worship, abandoned structures, construction zones, cemeteries, ATMs, promenades, stairwells, underneath bridges and inside commercial buildings.
The Afyonkarahisar Administrative Court, however, overturned the ban yesterday after a resident of the city filed a lawsuit against the ban, saying the governor’s office had no legal jurisdiction or basis to put the ban into motion.
The ban included many sites and venues for which there were no legal regulations prohibiting the consumption of alcohol, according to the court.