The controversial law placing limits on the sale and advertising of alcoholic beverages in Turkey takes effect as of today (Sept. 9), despite ongoing criticism.
Retailers will no longer be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., and the sale of alcohol near schools and places of worship will also be forbidden, according to the bill. Critics say there will inevitably be violations of the new law.
“I am sorry to say this, but many of us retailers will sell alcoholic beverages during the banned hours, as this is when we sell most. I do not understand why the government passed such regulations. The government takes high taxes from the consumption of those beverages. The new regulations will bring nothing but illegal sales,” a small shop owner on the Asian side of Istanbul told the Hürriyet Daily News.
“I have a legal permit to sell alcohol and there are no schools or places of worship within 100 meters of my shop. But what if somebody wants to launch a school or establish a mosque around my shop? What will happen then?” he asked.
The new law bans all retailers from selling alcoholic beverages at night, but not restaurants or other facilities. There are 200,000 small retailers that will be affected, according to official data.
“These 200,000 people earned much of their revenue from their alcohol sales at night, but no longer.
This is not fair for them,” Confederation of Turkish Craftsmen and Tradesmen (TESK) head Bendevi Palandöken told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday in a phone interview.
“This regulation may unfortunately trigger illegal sales and lead to the reports being made in neighborhoods. Imagine a man who does not like a retailer in his neighborhood. He may accuse the retailer of selling alcohol illegally at night. This is not good,” Palandöken said, also questioning who would be responsible for monitoring whether the regulation was implemented.
“Who will be responsible? The police, municipalities, or others? We, as the retailers, want some revisions to be made to the new law immediately,” he added./HurriyetDailynews.Com/