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ECONOMICS > Turks drink less rakı, more champagne

ISTANBUL

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Turks drank less of their traditional alcoholic drinks like rakı and wine, but indulged more in champagne in 2012 compared to last year while the country’s overall alcoholic drink consumption increased by 6.3 percent.

Sales of alcoholic drinks, including those imported from other countries, increase by 67 million liters last year, reaching to 1.1 billion liters, according to data provided by the state’s Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Authority.

The overall increase was mainly due to beer sales, which were 998.9 million, although champagne sales also saw a huge jump with a 91.1 rise to hit 826,770 liters.

Beer has been the alcoholic beverage drunk most in Turkey for years.

Meanwhile, the import of overall alcoholic beverages fell by 3.3 percent, which seems moderate compared to the 26.4 percent plummet of beer imports, a number that suggests domestic beers were favored most last year. Champagne also attracts attention in the import list as it surged by 89 percent.

The losers of 2012 were beverages once thought of as traditional Turkish preferences, as rakı consumption retreated to 44.6 million liters with an 8.6 percent plunge. Turks also consumed 56.4 million liters wine, 3.8 percent less than they sipped in 2011.

Alcoholic beverage export also fell by 11 percent to 11.2 million liter due to decrease of vodka and liquor exports. Vodka exports faced a huge plunge to 16,500 liter from 56,000 while liquor exports were only 774 liter. Turkey exported 6,100 liter liqor in 2011. Beer, rakı and wine exports have surged during the same period.

According to figures from the last five years, rakı consumption remained relatively the same while whisky consumption was boosted by 169.5 percent. Vodka drinking rose by 71.5 percent, wine drinking by 48.8 percent and beer consumption increased by a moderate 7.9 percent.

February/19/2013

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mara mcglothin

2/20/2013 5:30:37 PM

ZLATAN And how many people die in car crashes the World over? Are you saying we should reappropriate donkeys as a means of transportation or should we simply better regulate traffic? And make no mistake Turkish people enjoy there alcohol. Let's not get it twisted and think that the only people drinking in Turkey are foreigners. Also white bread is a big danger to your health. Didn't you get that memo from the esteemed PM? To each his own. We all have to take responsibility for our health

Zlatan Zinho

2/20/2013 12:35:27 AM

@sam stevens, the World Health Organisation is divided into two camps: those who state that alcohol kills 2.25m people per year, and those who think that it kills 2.5m people per year. The 0.25m difference represents the 'health benefits' of alcohol - but it still kills a minimum of 2.25m people net per year, even allowing for these purported benefits!

Zlatan Zinho

2/19/2013 7:58:15 PM

@Nikos, in the vast majority of OIC countries alcohol is not just freely available but often cheap, too. As for the correlation between alcohol and violent crime, in the US alcohol is a factor in 40% of violent crime, and in the UK it is a factor in 75% of stabbings, 50% of domestic abuse (i.e. wife-beating) + fighting, and 60-70% of homicides. Skol!

sam stevens

2/19/2013 6:34:38 PM

Ziatan. You make the same mistake. You are talking about EXCESS not alcohol per se. Too much of anything is bad for your health......... even water !!!

OZman Cometh

2/19/2013 6:03:14 PM

it must be a conspiracy, did you all read the article? "Sales of alcoholic drinks, including those imported from other countries, increase by 67 million liters last year". No, just another chance to whine ..geddit!

mara mcglothin

2/19/2013 3:32:10 PM

The whole picture is very sad. Just the fish restaurants along the Bosporus that are no longer able to serve Raki is a huge difference to the sale. Not only do Turks like to drink Raki, but they prefer to do that with a nice meal of appetizers and fish, which in many parts of the coastline is no longer possible since the government owns the land. Slow erosion of liberties.

Nikos T.

2/19/2013 1:46:30 PM

@Zlatan, thank God in all Islamic countries alcohol is banned and they don't have any violent crimes cause by booze.

Zlatan Zinho

2/19/2013 12:37:40 PM

@sam stevens, one drink doesn't necessarily make one an alcoholic, but at the same time there is a reason that most countries around the world are trying to reduce their citizenries' consumption of the stuff: they are realising that they are losing more money in health + social spending (on the cancers, cirrhosis, depression and violent crime caused by booze) than they gain in alcohol taxes.

Zlatan Zinho

2/19/2013 12:32:18 PM

There is a big problem with this article: it rests on the assumption that alcohol sales in Turkey = alcohol sales to Turks, which is demonstrably not true. Is it a coincidence that vodka sales have spiked at exactly the same time that Turkey has abolished visas for Russian tourists?

Nikos T.

2/19/2013 12:16:15 PM

I always have some glasses of raki with my Turkish friends in Turkey. They don't seem to be afraid of this... sin.
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