BESAŞ, the 3rd largest bread-manufacturing facility in Turkey, and a provider of bread to markets and grocery stores, sent a notice to their dealers on March 14. The notice informed that a dealer of BESAŞ could no more sell alcohol so that their contracts for bread dealing do not terminate, and the same rule applies to granting new dealership.
BESAŞ maintained that all of their dealers should stop selling alcohol, or BESAŞ would annul their contracts.
Turkey's ruling AKP has raged a war against the consumption of alcohol in Turkey with Islamist motivations. In 2013, AKP prohibited consumption of alcohol in public parks and increased taxes on alcoholic drinks.
From 2002 to 2018, the prices of various alcoholic beverages have increased by 500%.
The attempts to restrict alcohol consumption in public spaces are widely known. The Governor of the city of Burdur, Turkey, for instance, banned drinking alcohol in public in open air. The Governor of the city of Antalya is also known to have enforced the same ban back in 2017.
The AKP government finally passed a regulation which projects that ethyl alcohol, which is used by people to make rakı (a traditional Turkish alcoholic beverage) at home, was to be mixed with denatonium benzoate, a chemical that is defined by many as “intolerably bitter”.