ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
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.