Rakı to become Turkey's 'national alcoholic drink' if accepted by European body
ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
The Traditional Alcoholic Beverage Producers Association has applied to the EU Commission Codex to patent rakı as Turkey’s national drink. Hürriyet photoTurkey’s Traditional Alcoholic Beverage Producers Association (GİSDER) has applied to the European Union Commission Codex to patent rakı as Turkey’s national drink, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s words disowning the traditional drink continue to dominate the country’s public debate.
GİSDER has been working for the past two years in an attempt to patent the drink as “Turkish rakı,” which included initial legal processes at the Turkish Patent Institute. With the patent having been received from Turkish officials, the association now aims to patent the drink abroad, starting with the European Union.
The application was filed two years ago, and if it goes through, the production of similar drinks that fall short in quality or in recipe will be removed legally, with sole production limited exclusively to Turkey.
The final decision of the European body will come in a year, GİSDER head Egemen Demirtaş said, adding that whiskey, cognac, brandy and champagne have all previously been identified and recognized by the Codex.
Demirtaş added that if it received the patent, it would remove inferior-quality products, mostly produced in Germany, from the market.
“There are products that are sold very cheaply and produced in Germany, which are not made of grapes, or aniseed, that only use aniseed essence with any kind of alcohol. With the new regulation these will not exist and Turkish rakı will be served to customers with the proper quality, which will ultimately contribute to Turkey’s image in Europe,” Demirtaş said.
Prime Minister Erdoğan recently vowed to introduce further measures to decrease alcohol consumption, dismissing the general notion that considered rakı as the traditional Turkish drink. Erdoğan had said that Turkey’s real national drink instead was ayran, a beverage made of yogurt and salt, adding that further prevention policies against alcohol consumption were in the party’s plans for the near-future.