Alcohol ban at Turkey’s Antalya food and drink fair

The 25th International Food and Drink Specialty Fair (Food Product 2018) and the International Accommodation and Entertainment Equipment Specialty Fair, which are both opening in Antalya between January 17–20, are to ban the vendors of alcoholic drinks for the first time, Russian-owned news site Sputnik Turkey said.

A parliamentarian representing Antalya for the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Çetin Osman Budak, brought the issue to parliament, telling Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım that the move would damage the reputation of his constituency among prospective holidaymakers.

“Has Turkey stopped looking to the European and Russian markets in tourism?” Budak asked.

“With one week until the opening, the ANFAŞ management have announced that alcoholic drinks cannot be displayed or tasted within the Food and Drink Specialty Fair,” he said. “This ban, which was not imposed in previous years, was put into place after the process in which the preparations for the fair were completed and the local and foreign guests will have planned their transport and accommodation, and will have put alcoholic drinks sector representatives into a difficult situation with serious financial losses.”

The ban would damage Turkey’s image abroad, he said.

“Banning alcoholic drinks at an international fair for the tourism sector will be another blow to Turkey’s image,” Budak said.

He also asked the prime minister whether the local or national government, or else the governor of the province had been involved in encouraging or ordering the ban.