No Raki For You: Erdogan Cracks Down On Liquor Sales In Latest Play For Religious Votes

The authoritarian rule of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has always been sobering for civil libertarians but this is ridiculous. After destroying civil liberties, the free speech and secularism, Erdogan remains unpopular with many inside Turkey and most people outside of Turkey. Facing an upcoming election, Erdogan has decided to play the Islamic card again and cracked down on liquor sales. It is the latest proof that he lied when he originally pledged to respect the secular traditions established by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk that made Turkey unique in the Muslim world.  Indeed, Ataturk was known as someone who was a heavy drinker in his time.  Ataturk would drink a liter of raki (shown here), the Turkish national liquor, a day (which explains why he died at 57 years old from a chronic liver disease).

We have followed the rapid destruction of the secular government and civil liberties in Turkey under the authoritarian rule of Erdogan. Erdogan used a failed coup to push his effort to create a de facto Islamic regime and to complete his work in arresting his critics, including forcing the resignation of thousands of secular academics, prosecuting foreign journalists, and suspending all civil liberties in a proclaimed state of emergency.

The Turkish government imposed a nearly three-week nationwide lockdown and ban on alcohol sales through the end of Ramadan. The lockdown ended May 17, but the government decided to continue to impose weekend curfews and alcohol bans through the end of the month.  It is the latest in a series measures designed to limit sales and increase taxes on alcohol — and pander to the Islamic voting bloc.

Turkey has some good local wines and a long history of enjoying alcohol drinks like Raki.  I love Istanbul which is one of my favorite cities on Earth. One of my favorite memories is sitting on Turkish rugs along the Bosphorus River in Istanbul on hot summer nights drinking Turkish wine.  The sun would go down as hundreds of mosques would call to the faithful. It remains indelible as one of my most cherished and beautiful memories.

Erdogan has used alcohol to rally his loyal base among Islamic parties. In 2013, Erdogan he took a shot at his opponent by declaring in a debate “Given that a law made by the two drunkards is respected, why should a law that is commanded by religion be rejected by your side?”  It was an extraordinary statement that implicitly insulted Ataturk and showed not only Erdogan’s plan to dismantle secularism but his confidence in his Islamic political base.

Even though the Istanbul Economics Research poll shows 56% of Turks opposed to the ban, Erdogan’s base in shown in the 44% supporting it.





21 thoughts on “No Raki For You: Erdogan Cracks Down On Liquor Sales In Latest Play For Religious Votes”

  1. Why doesn’t the Wall Street Journal or any media explain how a Bitcoin is made and what’s in it? Gold in it? Silver? Backed by a corporate list of products such as Home Depot?

    1. The best eclsinstion of Bitcoin is the word nitwit. Those who buy them are nitwits

  2. There is a sign up near the housing project near a BLM sign. It says GOYAAV. Someone here says it means Get Off Your Ass And Vote.
    They are encouraging people to walk a half mile to the ballot box on election day and vote.

  3. Professor–Your experience drinking Turkish wine in the evening beside the Bosphorus River sounds delightfully memorable…….Personally, i would enjoy that, only by drinking, not Turkish wine, but that fabulous Turkish coffee, replacing the mosques’ call to prayer with some nice baroque music. 🙂

  4. Most countries are run, wittingly or unwittingly and licitly or illicitly, by dictators.

    America was established to be run by the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    The difference is the similarity to the relationship between managed and indexed investment portfolios.

    Citizens and investors proceed at the whim, whimsy and psychoses of fallible humans or with the ultimate stability of non-human, generic market indices.

    America is way off its “Constitution” course and has been headed toward the dictatorship disposition of most countries since “Crazy Abe” Lincoln’s “Reign of Terror.”

    “Crazy Abe” let the anti-Constitution, anti-American, communist genie out of the bottle.

    It’s going to require George Washington II, Thomas Jefferson II, James Madison II et al. to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

  5. May 29, 1453 is the day Muslims finally conquered Constantinople. Downhill ever since.

    Last time I was in Paris it looked as if they were well on the way to doing the same there. The lights in the City of Lights is increasingly coming from burning churches and cathedrals.

    Beirut used to be the Paris of the East. No more. Now Paris is becoming the Beirut of the West.

  6. Erdogan is a Corrupt, Dictator, He will do anything to stay in power and use his powers for his own gain. He thinks he is the next Sultan of a FAILED OTTOMAN EMPIRE – his neighbors hate him

  7. Why does Jon Turley insist on devoting space to events and actions in other countries we Americans have no say in? Turkey is Turkey and it’s always been an oppressive country, just like nearly every Moslem country in Asia. American civil liberties only apply to the United States in spite of liberals attempt to apply them to the rest of the world. In short, Erdogan is Turkey’s problem, Joe Biden is ours and he and his fellow Democrats are mounting a campaign to destroy political opposition in this country.

      1. “The ugly truth: Republicans want more poverty and crime”
        And yet it keeps landing in blue jurisdictions run by rabid Democrats.

        1. Young – I’m reasonably sure you had a point. What is it? Did you read the article? Oh. You didn’t need to in order to make your point meaningless?

          1. Bill–

            Reading a propaganda piece is not as helpful as actually seeing conditions in different cities and states.

            Go to the Fashion District in LA and see Democrat politics in action for yourself. I have been in Third World countries that look better. The current fashions in that district are tents, filth, crime, hepatitis and typhus. Oh yes, rats like it too.

            1. Young

              If you believe it’s propaganda, then why not refute it. One could just as easily say that Trump is responsible for what you believe. After all, he had four years to build a wall, get an e-verify law passed by the GOP-majority senate, house, FOX, JAVANKA, BARR, and he obviously doesn’t care about rat problems…except those that are gonna help him try to evade justice until the GOP steals the 2024 election and criminal appointees try to prevent him from facing the consequences of some of his alleged crimes.

              Have you made a donation to his legal defense fund yet?

    1. Semcgowanjr: “Why does Jon Turley insist on devoting space to events and actions in other countries we Americans have no say in?”

      So that you can learn from the mistakes of others, perhaps?

  8. A possible projection of the future – not about alcohol of course – not yet anyway

  9. The authoritarians forget that every time they squeeze someone, they drive people away.

    Whether it is alcohol, free speech, or assembly that is limited, people recognize the costs of giving authoritarians more power.

    There are lickspittles who like being bossed around and there are authoritarians who like exercising power, but the two groups combined are usually outnumbered by those that they anger.

    Look at the constant stream of reports in this country of petty tyrants making and enforcing petty rules.

    Americans don’t like that and I suspect that that 2022 will show that (with the distorting effect of Trump minimized, Americans will recognize the cost of supporting Lefties.

  10. He’s Erdogan the Snake he is…
    Erdogan the Snake he is.
    He got married to a hooker next door…
    She’s had covid seven times before.

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