12 November 2015

Fury as Turkey axes raki festival amid alcohol crackdown

Turkish authorities have cancelled a festival celebrating the national drink, raki, because of complaints by Islamic groups, causing anger among secular Turks.

The annual World raki festival had been scheduled to take place on 12-13 December in the city of Adana. But the provincial governor axed the event after Islamic associations denounced it as a disgrace.

“It’s not possible for us to allow something like this,” Mustafa Büyük told the Hürriyet newspaper on Thursday. “We don’t want people to drink alcohol and we can not tolerate its promotion.”

The raki street festival is popular with tourists and attracts about 20,000 fans of the aniseed-flavoured liquor.

.... However the Adana mayor, Hüseyin Sözlü, a member of the Nationalist Movement party, described the decision as an attack on individual freedoms in the traditionally secular Muslim country. [The Guardian] Read more