Ankara, Nov 5 () - Traditional “New Year baskets” gift packages of beverages and snacks sold at supermarkets during the last weeks of the year, will not be permitted to include alcoholic drinks this year, according to a ruling from Turkey’s alcohol and tobacco regulator.
The decision, made public in the Official Gazette on Nov. 5, has triggered contrasting reactions from the sector.
Bendevi Palandöken, the head of the Confederation of Turkish Craftsmen and Tradesmen (TESK), said some businesses without the required liquor licenses prepare the baskets anyway and the regulation would put an end to this practice.
Palandöken added that although stores may face losses in the absence of such baskets, it would be “positive for public health.”
However, Consumer Issues Association head Aydın Ağaoğlu said the regulation “limited consumers’ right to choose.”
“While the implementation seems positive from a public health perspective, it is akin to state intervention on whether a legal product can be included in a gift package,” Ağaoğlu added.
Sadi Uzunoğlu, a professor at Trakya University, also said the move was “against the market.”