Feb 16 2018

Turkey hits homemade drinks, cigarettes after beer company complaint

Turkey is to require a special license for the import of distilled alcohol used in the production of home-made alcoholic drinks and for the tobacco and papers used for self-rolled cigarettes following a beer company’s complaint that the Treasury was losing tax revenue, opposition Halk TV said.

The decision, published in the Official Gazette on Friday, means that the import of ethyl alcohol, methanol, tobacco, tobacco products, rolling papers and cigarette filters will require a document from the Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry.

In addition, the measure bans the free circulation of concentrated alcohols that can be used as ingredients in the preparation of alcoholic drinks.

The measure comes after the Chairman of Anadolu Group, which controls approximately 80 percent of Turkey’s beer market, spoke out against home brewers.

“Alcohol sales have fallen due to an increase in home brewing,” Tuncay Özilhan said. “Home brewing also leads to a loss of tax revenue. We have shared our views on this with authorities.”

After beer consumers on Turkish social media platform Ekşisözlük organised a boycott of Anadolu Group’s flagship beer brand Efes, Özilhan issued an apology for his remarks.