Turkey is a country that has a rich cultural heritage and a diverse population. It is known for its beautiful beaches, historic sites, and delicious cuisine. However, one question that many people have when they plan to visit Turkey is whether they can drink alcohol. In this blog post, we will explore the answer to this question and provide you with some important information about alcohol consumption in Turkey.
Alcohol in Turkey: A brief history
Turkey has a complicated history with alcohol. In the early years of the Republic, Turkey’s first president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, encouraged the consumption of alcohol as a way to modernize and secularize the country. During this time, Turkey’s wine industry flourished, and alcohol consumption was widely accepted.
However, in recent years, there has been a growing trend towards Islamization, and some conservative politicians have tried to limit the consumption of alcohol in Turkey. In 2013, the government introduced new regulations that made it more difficult for restaurants and bars to obtain licenses to sell alcohol.
Can you drink alcohol in Turkey?
The short answer is yes, you can drink alcohol in Turkey. However, there are some restrictions and regulations that you should be aware of. The legal drinking age in Turkey is 18, and it is illegal to sell alcohol to anyone under this age. It is also illegal to drink alcohol in public places, although this law is not always strictly enforced in tourist areas.
Restaurants, bars, and hotels are allowed to serve alcohol, but they must have a license to do so. Some restaurants and bars choose not to serve alcohol, especially in more conservative areas of the country. During the holy month of Ramadan, many restaurants and bars may also choose not to serve alcohol out of respect for the Muslim majority.
One important thing to note is that alcohol is heavily taxed in Turkey, so it can be expensive to drink alcohol in restaurants and bars. However, you can find affordable alcohol in supermarkets and convenience stores, and many locals choose to drink at home rather than in public places.
Drinking culture in Turkey
In Turkey, drinking alcohol is generally seen as a social activity, and it is common to share a bottle of wine or raki (a traditional Turkish drink made from aniseed) with friends and family. However, it is important to remember that Turkey is a Muslim-majority country, and alcohol consumption is not as widespread as it is in some Western countries.
It is also important to be respectful of local customs and traditions when drinking alcohol in Turkey. For example, it is considered impolite to refuse a drink when it is offered to you, so be prepared to drink responsibly.
In conclusion, you can drink alcohol in Turkey, but there are some important restrictions and regulations that you should be aware of. The legal drinking age is 18, and it is illegal to drink alcohol in public places. Restaurants, bars, and hotels are allowed to serve alcohol, but they must have a license to do so. If you choose to drink alcohol in Turkey, it is important to be respectful of local customs and traditions and to drink responsibly.