For a healthy generation, grandfather suggested drinking ayran: Erdoğan

For a healthy generation, grandfather suggested drinking ayran: Erdoğan

For a healthy generation, grandfather suggested drinking ayran: Erdoğan

As soon as Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan declared ayran the national drink, some quick-witted vendors started serving the salty refreshment for free. DHA photo

A day after vowing harsh action against alcohol and branding ayran as the national drink, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan justified again on April 27 his preference for the salty beverage made from yogurt and traditionally sipped with the country's trademark kebab meals.

Turkish prime minister objected a newspaper headline stating "One state, one flag, one people, one drink," noting that even in the first years of the republic, one of the first laws amended by the nascent Parliament was about fighting alcoholism. However, Erdoğan said, the prevention policy soon was replaced much to his regret by another that encouraged new generations to drink beer or rakı, and he urged trading those unhealthy alcoholic beverages for a humble glass of ayran.

"For a healthy generation, my grandfather suggested me ayran as the national drink," he said during a speech at the Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association's (MÜSİAD) 22nd General Assembly.

"Some people want to drink vodka or beer. May they help themselves and drink it, but we will accomplish the Article 58 in the Turkish Constitution," he said, referring to a provision that engaged the state to protect the citizens from harm, including drug and alcohol abuse.

Erdoğan repeated his statements that it was unacceptable that until a while ago alcohol was sold at some universities. "The youth who goes there to be enlightened returns home drunk. Instead of carrying a computer he takes a döner knife and attacks his friends, because he is tipsy. When we utter that, some people get offended," he said.

Rich people should have more children

Erdoğan also warned that the population rise in Turkey was decreasing, criticizing those who have the means for not having enough children. "Their excuse [for being against having many kids] is ready: What can an uneducated generation bring. But those who are rich, how many kids do they have? Either one or two. Three is rare. They have money, why don't they have more children?" he asked.