Wine-making halts in Turkey's Tekirdağ due to alcohol ban

Wine-making halts in Turkey's Tekirdağ due to alcohol ban

TEKİRDAĞ - Doğan News Agency
Wine-making halts in Turkeys Tekirdağ due to alcohol ban

Local farmers have quit their wine production due to restrictions on alcohol use.

An agricultural development cooperative in the northwestern province of Tekirdağ launched a winery in 2007 using state funds, but now the fund has started to produce grape juice rather than wine following a series of restrictions on alcohol use.

“The sector has come to a dead-end due to high special taxes on wines and the latest regulations to restrict alcohol use. Therefore, we have decided to stop our wine production and produce grape juice with the help of a grapery research institute here,” said the head of the cooperative, Nihat Balkan.

He noted the cooperative launched its preparations to establish the required facilities and started its first wine production in 2009. The cooperative received some 50 percent of state funds to establish the facilities and to acquire equipment.

Now the cooperative will produce approximately 3,000 liters of grape juice from about 400,000 tons of grapes, which are cultivated by the cooperative’s 61 partners, aiming to reach 150,000 liters in the future.

The controversial law placing limits on the sale and advertising of alcoholic beverages in Turkey has been in effect as of Sept. 9, despite ongoing criticism.

Retailers are no longer allowed to sell alcoholic beverages between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., and the sale of alcohol near schools and places of worship is also forbidden, according to the bill.
The new law bans all retailers from selling alcoholic beverages at night, but not restaurants or other facilities.