For already a week there’s major chaos in Turkey. Protesters against the government of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan are being beaten down by the regime with brutal force. What started as a small scaled protest over a parc is now looking more and more like a revolt. The current protests are a cry for help against the suffocating regime of Erdogan and his conservative AK-party. We can only support this since Erdogan showed himself an enemy of the true drinker.
Just two months ago the Turkish prime minister announced he was gonna take on alcohol even harder. Already the prices of beer and spirits is relatively high in Turkey. Exported Turkish raki is cheaper in other countries than in the country of production, all because of the high taxes on alcohol. But still this wasn’t enough for mister Erdogan. The prices had to be raised. Nevermind that the Turkish economy relies for a big part on tourism.
The prime minister apparently believes he is the chosen one to tell a whole country what they can and can’t drink. Recently he called on Turks to leave alcohol and drink ayran (a traditional yoghurt drink and a very good cure for hangovers) instead. “Beer was unfortunately presented as a national drink. However, our national drink is ayran.” This remark gave him a lot of criticism. Lots of Turks answered that he could drink all the dairy products he wanted, but they preferred to follow the example of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk – founder of the Turkish state as it is today – who was quite fond of raki.
And maybe that’s the whole problem. Erdogan often breaks down the legend of the national hero in public and speaks openly about a new Ottoman Empire. The fact that the thirst for alcohol of Sultan Selim II (better known as Selim the Drunkard) initiated the downfall of this powerful empire might also be bugging him. Fact is that the prime minister’s megalomania might not just be bad news for the Turkish drinkers, but possibly as well for neighboring countries like Greece and Bulgaria.
So we hope Turkey will shake off dictator Erdogan as soon as possible and replace him with a politician that does not want to oppress people. So show some solidarity with the poor people in Turkey and grab yourself a beer.