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POLITICS > Turkish President Gül’s approval on alcohol bill contingent on Constitution

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

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Turkish President Abdullah Gül previously said the bill seemed to be a regulation rather than a ban. DHA photo

Turkish President Abdullah Gül previously said the bill seemed to be a regulation rather than a ban. DHA photo

Turkish President Abdullah Gül has indicated that he might not approve a controversial bill restricting alcohol use and sales if he sees any contradiction with the Constitution.

Gül’s remarks came amid ongoing countrywide protests that have partly stemmed from pressure against people’s lifestyles.

“If I see constitutional problems [in the bill], I will do what’s necessary,” Gül told the Confederation of Turkish Craftsmen and Tradesmen (TESK) head Bendevi Palandöken.

At a meeting with Gül at presidential residence on May 30, Palandöken told the president that they have worries about the law, adding that the bill only gave three months to businesses to adapt themselves to the restrictions of the new law.

Palandöken also told the president that business places in Taksim had suffered damage due to ongoing Gezi Park protests. Gül told Palandöken that he would contact the related minister about meeting the costs of the damage to businesses.

Gül previously said the bill seemed to be a regulation rather than a ban.

The controversial alcohol bill 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.

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.

June/05/2013

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READER COMMENTS

Notice on comments

Cengiz Sanli

6/5/2013 11:01:45 PM

Sultan recep the impedent must be stopped

Tekion Particle

6/5/2013 8:03:16 PM

@Mr Who, drunk and disorderly behaviour of the English is an exception, it is a cultural thing. While European countries Germany in particular consumes as mush in some cases more alcohol, they do not have the same problem. So it is wrong to generalize in that manner. RTE aims to force everyone to be Muslims or obey the rules of a book written 1500 years ago. Whether it is relevant in today's society is another debate. What he needs, is to let his hair down and have a few beers and relax.

John Huennekens

6/5/2013 7:44:24 PM

This was such bad legislation, applying one standard across the entire country. The regulation of alcohol sales should have been left to local authorities. What works in a country town will not in a resort area or big city.

Adele Gill

6/5/2013 7:08:03 PM

Dear President, bring the law on sugar and salt reduction in food. Penalise families whose children are over weight (similar to Sweden). Reduce the traffic speed in cities, make streets better marked. These are some simple steps that will reduce rate of obesity and rate of death from car accidents. Best of luck!

K M

6/5/2013 6:36:59 PM

I'd like to think he's looking to the top judge's caution on 31 May as a reason to do the right thing. He'll distinguish himself as about the only senior AKP official with an ounce of sense if he does.

Philpot

6/5/2013 6:12:27 PM

@mr who - yep drunken UK 22nd in the world GDP, sober Turkey 66th!

mara mcglothin

6/5/2013 5:43:54 PM

R PEKAR Alcohol is only the tip of the iceberg, or the last straw. It is so simple, if you don't want to drink, then don't. If you don't want to have 3 or more children then don't. It is democracy we are talking about.

mara mcglothin

6/5/2013 4:57:20 PM

The bottom line is what Erdogan said regarding "why" this bill was so important, NOT for the health and welfare of its citizens(which was mentioned) but the fact that this was what God wanted. So for MR GUL, this is in direct conflict with a secular constitution. RIMON Gul, while all dressed up and tied with a nice bow, he is still the same mentality as the rest of the AKP. I am sure you have read his personal bio.

sonnudagreat

6/5/2013 4:54:12 PM

yeah yeah we are fools ....no 1 has guts 2 go against the big boss father of 75 millions. the simple answer is make weed legalize

Çılgın Kanarya

6/5/2013 4:31:25 PM

Although Gül seems just about the most likeable, pleasant, sincere and sensible person connected to the AKP, we can never be sure exactly what his real intentions are, so RİMON TREE makes a very good point in this respect. I too find it almost impossible to take at face value what I hear from any AKP politician. And RİCHARD PEKAR, when was the last time anyone physically dragged you into a bar in Turkey & forced a beer down your throat? If you don't want to drink, fine, but others do!
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