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Turkey: Alcohol ban in government cafes and restaurants

NationalThe ruling Islamic-rooted AK Party has begun a crackdown on alcohol in the local districts it controls, reported the AFP on Friday. The ban on serving alcohol in local government cafes and restaurants is in order to protect family values, say the party according to the source.

A similar ban was brought into government buildings in Turkey\'s biggest city, Istanbul, ten years ago when the now prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the major of the city. Turkey is a secular state that follows a moderate interpretation of the Koran and sells alcohol under legal licensing laws.

The AKP has not issued any initiative on the matter but has refused to issue new sales licenses while extending existing permits seems to be taking forever getting stuck in bureaucratic delays.

The deputy mayor of the northwestern town of Osmangazi, Abdullah Karadag, told the AFP, \"We want to create drinking streets like in Europe.\" Demonstrating his support for the motion.

Although, the government has shed it\'s Islamic past, and is following a secular path on the road to EU membership, there are many who are not sure of the PM due to his own beliefs. Erdogan a practicing muslim does not drink alcohol and is known to make toasts at state banquets with a glass of fruit juice. He has recently been heard as saying \"the government has a duty to protect young people from the dangers of alcohol.\"
The main opposition Republican People\'s Party (CHP) were dead set against the ban, saying that it was not inline with individual liberties as expected in Europe. \"This is a creeping ban and it will spread throughout the country,\" the CHP\'s Sefik Zengin told Parliament.

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