Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Erdogan Accused of Pushing Islamist Agenda With Alcohol Ban

  • Officials: sales not allowed until May 17 lockdown expiry
  • Secularists say president is imposing religious restrictions
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip ErdoganPhotographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government banned sales of alcohol during a lockdown that begins Thursday, drawing the ire of opponents who say the Turkish leader is trying to force his Islamic values on the nation of 83 million people.

Alcohol sales at groceries and chain stores will be banned from April 29 until May 17, officials with direct knowledge of the Interior Ministry regulations said. The curbs are in line with existing weekend restrictions and prevent unfair competition against small liquor shops, which as retailers of non-essential goods will be barred from opening during the same period, the officials said, asking not to be identified.