World Bulletin/News Desk
Amendments have been made to a law proposed by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government on the sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco, following strong opposition in Parliament on Wednesday to the government's proposal.
A sub-commission in Parliament made changes to several articles of the AK Party's proposed legislation following strong opposition voiced by some parties in Parliament and concerns raised by various circles.
According to the AK Party's bill, advertisements and promotions of alcoholic beverages would no longer be allowed. The sub-commission, however, limited the advertising ban to just the logo and name of the alcoholic product.
Companies will not be able to sell alcoholic beverages over the telephone or on third-party websites but will be able to sell them on their own electronic domains.
Companies will also be able to sell alcoholic beverages at a discount but cannot use them as gifts or giveaways.
An article in the AK Party's proposal saying, “Alcoholic beverages cannot be sold to children,” has been changed to “Alcoholic beverages cannot be sold to children under 18.”
In addition, in the AK Party's proposal, alcoholic beverages cannot be sold within 100 meters of a place of worship or an educational facility. Some fear that since there is no clear definition of what constitutes an educational facility, the licenses of some restaurants and hotels selling alcoholic beverages which are close to a ballet school, for instance, could be canceled because of this article.
In remarks to the Taraf daily on Thursday, Turkish Tradesmen's and Artisans' Confederation (TESK) Chairman Bendevi Palandöken said that if the AK Party's proposal goes into effect, this may lead to the cancellation of the licenses of 70 percent of the restaurants, hotels, kiosks and supermarkets in the country.
Noting that there is a university preparation course on almost every street in the country, Palandöken said the ban on selling alcoholic beverages was earlier limited to the environs of mosques but that it has now been expanded to include educational facilities.
“There will be chaos. Illegal sales and consumption of alcoholic beverages will rise. The image of Turkey will be damaged. There will be losses of tax amounting to billions of lira,” he said.
Last Mod: 17 Mayıs 2013, 16:54