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Is drinking alcohol legal in Turkey?

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    Is drinking alcohol legal in Turkey?

    The most popular drink is Turkey is without any doubt tea! In fact, people of Turkey are number 1 tea drinkers in the world. However, Tea is not the only thing people of Turkey drink. But what about alcohol? Since Turkey is a Muslim country, is it legal to drink alcohol in it? Can you buy alcohol when you travel to Turkey? well here is everything you need to know about alcohol in Turkey.
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    History of Alcohol in Turkey

    Alcohol consumption in Turkey has a long and complex history that reflects the country's cultural and religious diversity. Alcoholic beverages have been consumed in the region for thousands of years, dating back to ancient civilizations such as the Hittites, who brewed beer and wine.

    During the Ottoman Empire, which lasted from the 14th to the early 20th century, alcohol was widely consumed among the ruling classes and was considered a luxury item. The Ottomans produced a variety of alcoholic beverages, including wine, beer, and distilled spirits such as rakı.

    After the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923, the new government adopted a more secular and Western-oriented approach, which included the promotion of alcohol as a symbol of modernity and sophistication. Under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who was a wine lover himself, the government established state-run wineries and encouraged the production and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

    However, the attitude towards alcohol in Turkey began to shift in the latter half of the 20th century, as conservative and religious movements gained momentum. This led to increased restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol, particularly in public spaces. In recent years, the Turkish government has imposed stricter regulations on alcohol, such as increasing taxes on alcohol and limiting its sale during certain hours. These measures have faced criticism from some segments of society who see them as infringing on personal freedoms.

    Despite these restrictions, alcohol remains a popular beverage among many Turks, and its consumption is deeply intertwined with social and cultural traditions.​

    Is drinking alcohol legal in Turkey?

    Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, and Islamic teachings prohibit the consumption of alcohol. However, Turkey is a secular country with a diverse population, and the consumption of alcohol is legal for adults (18 years and above).

    Under Turkish law, it is illegal to sell or serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 18. It is also illegal to sell alcohol between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am, and advertising of alcoholic beverages is restricted.

    In addition, there are restrictions on where alcohol can be consumed. It is illegal to consume alcohol in public places such as parks, beaches, and streets. However, restaurants, bars, and clubs are allowed to serve alcohol to their customers.

    Overall, the consumption of alcohol is legal for adults in Turkey, but there are some restrictions on its sale, advertising, and consumption in public places. It's important to note that attitudes towards alcohol can vary depending on the region and local customs, and visitors are advised to be respectful and mindful of local laws and customs.

    Where to buy alcohol in Turkey?
    Turkey has some shops that only sell alcohol. These shops are called Tekel and can be recognized easily with their blue signs:
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    Big supermarkets also have a nice selection of alcoholic drinks. Actually I recommend going to the supermarkets rather than the Tekel since is gives you enough time to browse and search for what you want.