Mar 20 2018

Turkish city tells shops to choose between selling bread and alcohol

Turkey’s fourth largest city is making retail establishments choose between selling alcohol or subsidised bread, secularist newspaper Sözcü said.

Municipal bakery BESAŞ, a municipal enterprise in the city of Bursa, is the third-largest bakery in Turkey. It has given shops that sell alcohol until the end of March to decide whether beer or bread is a higher priority.

“The decision has been taken on the issue that all of our vendors should not sell alcohol,” the bakery said in a statement.

A Bursa parliamentarian for the opposition Republican People’s Party accused the governing Justice and Development Party, which controls the city council, of weaponising the people’s bread.

“BESAŞ is a firm that produces and sells bread and its duty is to give the people cheap bread,” Ceyhun İrgil said.

“When BESAŞ’s role is to bring cheap bread to the people, it cannot go and tell vendors what it can and cannot sell. This is crossing the line.”