ISTANBUL -  Alcohol sale bans in Turkey, which started in universities, have now been expanded to police-related offices, academies and training facilities.

The Istanbul daily Hurriyet reported that the move by the Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Authority (TAPDD), is the first such ban on alcohol sales in public institutions.

The TAPDD said the ban would be put into place at police headquarters, which include education environments where alcohol is not permitted. Many police stations in Turkey have training facilities, which fall under this category. The TAPDD stressed that the ban would not be implemented in public enterprises that do not include educational or training facilities.

Under the new restrictions alcohol licenses will not be given to dorms, cafes, arcade and bridge salons, or social common areas within educational facilities. Restaurants, however, will not be permitted to serve alcoholic beverages exceeded 5%.

(photo: Sarah Sphar)

Hurriyet noted that many caterers have complained that obtaining alcohol licenses is increasingly become difficult in Turkey, especially for outdoor events like weddings. 

The recent bans have added fuel to the debate over whether Turkey’s government has a hidden Islamic agenda as it enforces restrictions of alcohol sales for caterers. But the TAPDD board say the restrictions are being put into place in conjunction with the Ministry of Health to make sure that alcohol is not being consumed irresponsibility by youth.