Friday, December 16, 2005

Alcohol ban fuels fear of Muslim rule in Turkey

A LARGE sign at the gates of Ankara's new council-run lakeside park and restaurant complex reads, "Consuming alcohol is forbidden".

It is not alone. Across Turkey, restaurants managed by municipalities are implementing a dry policy, angering secular Turks who say the government is stamping a Muslim way of life on the country, even as it enacts western-leaning reforms in the hope of joining the European Union.

The Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party of the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has enacted a law giving mayors the power to issue drink licences and designate areas where alcohol can be consumed.

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See also: US Asks AKP About 'Alcoholic Beverage Ban' (Zaman)

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