Sweeping alcohol ban starts in Turkish city

Sweeping alcohol ban starts in Turkish city

AFYONKARAHİSAR - Doğan News Agency
Sweeping alcohol ban starts in Turkish city

The alcohol ban applies to open public ares, such as picnic sites. DHA photo

A sweeping ban in the central-western province of Afyonkarahisar, which restricts the consumption and sale of alcohol in open areas, came into effect May 13, following a directive issued by the governor’s office on April 24.

Law enforcement officials fined 25 people 169 Turkish Liras yesterday for violating the new regulations against the consumption of alcohol in open areas, while Afyonkarahisar Deputy Police Chief Kasım Korkut said the ban would be enforced tenaciously and uncompromisingly.

Meanwhile, Afyonkarahisar Governor İrfan Balkanlıoğlu announced that he had removed picnic areas from the list of places where the ban would come into force. Balkanlıoğlu said he had already scratched out picnic areas from the list, but that it went down on the record as such by mistake.

“There was a perception that [alcohol] was banned everywhere. There is no such law. Consuming alcohol in licensed and closed places is not prohibited. Wherever [the consumption of alcohol] used to be free, it still is free in those places [and vice versa],” Balkanlıoğlu said.

Crime prevention, alcohol-related traffic accidents and the conservation of public order were the reasons cited for the ban on the open sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in Afyonkarahisar.

Alcohol consumption inside private vehicles has turned into a dangerous habit leading to traffic accidents, and alcohol consumers who had settled in certain locations within the city have been causing disturbances in their environments, the governor’s office had said earlier.