Hundreds of young Turks who used social networking to link with one another gathered in the streets of Ankara and Istanbul in order to protest new laws passed by the ruling Justice and Development Party(AKP) that seek to reduce opportunities for drinking. The age by which a Turkish youth will be allowed to legally drink alcohol has been raised, undoubtedly influenced by AKP links to Muslim clerics. Ironically, even as it became more difficult for youth to drink alcohol, the age for purchasing a gun was lowered. Shades of the American National Rifle Association. As young people gathered with bottles of alcohol, some shouted: “For our freedom and reproaching any official that tries to prohibit alcoholic drinks.” There is scant doubt many secular minded Turks do not completely trust the AKP when it comes to issues of religion.
A word of caution to the Turkish government. We Americans in the 1920s attempted to curb alcohol and unleashed a generation of crime. Let them drink, and let them shout, it is a lot safer than making criminal what people do for enjoyment.