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Alcohol Law In Turkey

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The alcohol law in Turkey is one of the least restrictive ones across the globe. In Turkey alcohol is considered as an integral part of life. So, there are no strict restrictions about consumption of alcohol. But this doesn’t means that young people can have alcohol in the way they want, rather they are taught to have it in a very sensible manner.


The Turkish government has not imposed any restrictions on use and sale of alcohol. The local alcoholic drink Raki is consumed in Turkey on all regular days. The Turkish food culture is termed as Raki culture and it means sitting across the dinner table, drinking alcohol, nibbling on food and talking on personal subjects. Wine and local beer Efes Pilsen is also widely consumed throughout Turkey.  The public drinking is not encouraged during the month of Ramadan.


Legal Drinking Age
Turkey has elevated the drinking age to 24 in January 2011. Earlier you could have:

  • Alcohol once you turn 16 along with your meals in the restaurant.
  • Alcohol in all public places once you turn 18.


The amendment in laws pertaining to drinking age was seriously considered by the Turkish parliament due to increasing cases of alcohol abuse. According to some reports the alcohol consumption in Turkey has drastically reduced in 5 years from 2003-2008. It is believed that this change was forced by the religious pressures. The religious pressures induced by conservative and peers are touted as one of the prime reason for reducing alcohol consumption even before the law came into practice.


New Alcohol Laws in Turkey


  • The new alcohol regulation imposed by the government prohibits the advertising of alcoholic beverages and also tightens the grip around the ways in which alcohol is displayed in shops and all public places.  The advertisements of alcohol on radio and television is strictly prohibited also the printed advertisements should not encourage drinking on special days too.  Also, alcoholic drinks cannot be distributed as means of promotion, gift or present.


  • According to the new law the alcohol consumption is not permitted outside the premises of authorized selling shops. This means it is becoming harder for the caterers to sell alcohol during small gatherings and wedding parties. Also, alcohol is not permitted in events where adolescents and kids attend the party because the age barrier has been increased to 24.


  • The national basket ball team is forced to change their name from Efes Pilsen to something more meaningful.


The trade analysts say that this law will in fact help to curb the alcohol abuse upto large extent but it will affect the tourism in very bad way.  Many of the high profile restaurants and bars which make money in tourist season by serving alcohols to their guests will be in real trouble.


Drink Driving Laws in Turkey
The drink driving laws in Turkey are very comical in sense of application. Any drivers found with more than 0.05% of alcohol in blood is made to walk for long distances. The police leave the drunk drivers outside the city limits and they are made to walk back home sometimes about 20 kms or more without halting for a break. These drivers are also asked to keep on talking while walking. Isn’t it one of the funny but laborious ways of punishing a drunken person?


Stricter alcohol law in Turkey has paved way for a alcohol renaissance and it is reported now that most of the Turks are now just having 1.5 liters of alcohol in annually. This is a good sign and we believe that other countries should also follow Turkey in enforcing alcohol laws.


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Alcohol Law In Turkey