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Turkey’s Policies Inadvertently Encourage Moonshining

Teetotaling President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is driving people to illicit drink. Photo credit: Wikipedia.
Teetotaling President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Photo credit: Wikipedia.

“In keeping with its Islamist roots, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been doing its best to keep it that way. The party’s leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, urges Turks to stop drinking or at least do so only at home. Yesilay (Green Crescent), a temperance movement founded in 1920, cheers him on. Big tax rises since 2004 have more than trebled in real terms the price of raki, an anise-flavoured spirit that was the preferred tipple of Kemal Ataturk, the nation’s founding father. Sales of bootleg alcohol, some of it deadly, are rising. According to the OECD, perhaps 29% of the booze consumed in Turkey is sold illegally”… (Read more at the Economist)