The new Turkish restrictions on the sale, advertising and other changes have been cited as one of the reasons for the recent protests in Istanbul and around the country. But what are they and should they affect by decision to come on holiday to Turkey.

Last month the Turkish government passed a law to restrict the sale of alcohol, restrict advertising and also bring in tougher penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol.

What are the restrictions?

Restrictions on the sale of alcohol

No sales to under 18’s – It was always the law but now there are tougher penalties on those who sell to under age drinkers.

No sales between 22:00 and 06:00 – Currently shops can sell alcohol any time but that will change from September. A similar law exists in the UK so this brings Turkey into line with many developed countries around the world.

No sales within 100 meters of schools and mosques – This will apply to new business only. Existing places can stay as they are now.

No sales from filling stations or other shops on main roads.

But what about bars, hotels, clubs etc?

There are no restrictions so you can drink 24 hours a day.

Restrictions on advertising alcohol

The law forbids the display of images of alcoholic drinks and tv and films. Broadcasts will likely have such images superimposed or blurred as they do at present with the ban on smoking.

The law also forbids all those images of Efes and the like we see on fridges, banners, shops signs and so on. So over time we should see those all change.

Tougher drink driving penalties

Turkey has a lower blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.05% than the UK’s 0.08%.

If you are tested and you have a reading higher than this you could face a fine of 700 TL. Repeat offences carry tougher penalties and can result in imprisonment.

Anything else?

Health warnings will be displayed on cans, bottles and other packaging just like in the uk.

In Summary

The new rules bring Turkey in line with many developed countries on the restriction and control of alcohol and should not spoil your holiday to Turkey if you like a drink or two.