Governor in northern Turkey bans “disorderly” drinking in public areas

The governor of a northern Turkish province has banned “disturbing” drinking in public areas including in residential areas, parks and picnic areas.

The Kastamonu governorate’s new regulation encompasses all public areas in city limits except licenced facilities. The announcement warns that parked vehicles will not be considered exempt from the regulation.

The new regulation will be enforced according to misdemeanour law 5326, which deals with public disorder. The law specifies a fine of 100 liras ($17) for infringement, Turkish independent news site Diken reported.

The extent to which the law, which specifies drinking that causes a “disturbance”, will be enforced is not immediately clear.

Alcohol regulations are a serious political issue in Turkey, where many secularist citizens see regulations and taxes imposed by the Islamist-rooted ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as unwarranted interventions on citizens’ way of life.

Recent rises in tax on alcohol have left many Turks resorting to making their own bootleg spirits after the cost of drinking at commercial venues reached unaffordable levels.