Turkey bans alcohol advertisement, restricts sales
Government denies Islamist agenda, says legislation aims to bring country to European Union standards.
Turkey banned on Friday alcohol advertising and increased restrictions on alcohol sales in a move likely to anger secularist Turks who accuse the government of having an Islamic agenda.
The sale of alcohol will be outlawed from 10 pm to 6 am. Alcohol producers will have to place health warnings on packaging.
The law, which needs presidential approval before coming into effect, also bans alcohol-producing companies from sponsoring events and venues where alcohol is sold and consumed can no longer openly display drinks.
Turkey is an overwhelmingly Muslim nation with a secular constitution. Critics of the ruling AK Party say it is responsible for Islamism taking root in Turkey. Islam forbids the consumption of alcohol.
Conservative Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government denies those accusations.
It says it is not trying to limit people's freedoms but aims to bring Turkey, which wants to join the European Union, up to European standards by tightening restrictions on the sale of alcohol and protecting the young.
Since coming to power in 2002, the ruling party has taken various measures to limit alcohol consumption, including imposing high taxes on alcoholic drinks. National carrier Turkish Airlines has stopped serving alcohol on some domestic flights.