Turkmenistan: Liquor Ban Sends Drinkers Scrambling for Supplies
As soon authorities in Turkmenistan declared last week that the country would be a liquor-free zone for the duration of the upcoming Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, distressed drinkers stormed their local stores.
The ban took effect on August 19 and will last through to the start of October — more than enough to ensure that none other than the most determined will get their hands on booze during the competition, which takes place September 17-27.
Part of the inspiration for this joy-killing move appears derived from the games slogan: “Health. Inspiration. Friendship.” Depriving visitors of alcohol appears certain, however, to undermine at least two of those themes.
Upon hearing the news, panicked Turkmens first headed to wholesale traders, who normally stock large amounts of alcoholic goods. Traders, sensing the likelihood of serious financial losses, appeared willing to meet people halfway and offloaded whatever they could. Shoppers carted off crates of beer and as much of the strong stuff as they could carry.
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