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Turkey: Taking the 11th Step toward Prohibition?

New tax hikes on alcohol and new rules for times of selling alcoholic products in Turkey are threatening the future of local tekels, or liquor stores, according to several store owners. The prohibition on when to sell alcohol does not affect bars, restaurants, or clubs. (Photo: Jonathan Lewis)

After a fruitless haggle over a bottle of whisky, Cevdet Yavuz reflects glumly on his prospects as another customer slips through his fingers and walks out the door.

“I offered him that bottle for 130 lira ($75),” said Yavuz, 42, who runs a tekel, or liquor store, in Istanbul’s Kadıköy District. “I am selling things at the price I bought them because I have no money to replace my stock.”

Turkey’s alcohol retailers and drinkers have long grumbled about tax hikes that have sent the cost of alcohol skyrocketing in recent years. New legislation is being viewed by some people as a quantum step toward making Turkey dry.

To read the full story

Alexander Christie-Miller is a freelance reporter based in Istanbul.

Turkey: Taking the 11th Step toward Prohibition?

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