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Abatzis, Aris

Eleftherotypia, Greece

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Eleftherotypia - Greece | 08/12/2009

You are what you drink

The anise-flavored spirit raki is the (alcoholic) national drink of the Turks. This week the country is celebrating raki week. The daily Eleftherotypia explains the cultural dimensions of raki consumption: "On Saturday ... the daily Cumhuriyet published a whole-page advertisement for the Turkish ouzo Yen Raki. No other paper in Turkey has ever published an ad like that. ... For years raki - and alcohol in general - has been a bone of contention between strictly religious Muslims and secular Turks. The state authorities near to the pro-Islamic governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) try to reduce consumption by making things 'difficult' for restaurants that serve alcohol. In Turkey you can even separate people along ideological lines according to the alcohol they consume. Those who drink wine are generally considered Europeans, and those who drink raki are seen as citizens of Anatolia."

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