Rakı hits 150 liras a bottle as Turkey raises taxes – report
Rakı, Turkey’s national drink, will cost 150 liras ($27) a bottle after the government raised taxes on alcohol and cigarettes this week, Diken news website reported.
The price of rakı will increase by 7.27 liras for 70cl, Diken said. The aniseed-flavoured liquor now costs almost 50 percent more than in supermarkets in Germany, where millions of Turks also reside, it said.
Turkey’s government is seeking revenue to help lift the economy out of a sharp downturn. Its Islamist-leaning President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a vocal opponent of both drinking and smoking. The minimum wage in Turkey is 2,020 liras a month.
The price of cigarettes will also increase by 50 kuruş, or 0.5 liras, a pack. The government raised taxes by 4 liras a pack in January. A bottle of wine will now cost 58 kuruş more and beer 42 kuruş, Diken said.
The measure will raise 6.4 billion liras for the budget, the website said. The government didn't publish the tax increases in the Official Gazette because it approved regulations that no longer require it to do so, Diken said.
Turkey’s budget deficit has more than tripled in size to reach over 80 percent of the government’s year-end goal in the first five months of the year. Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has slashed taxes on many other consumer products, including televisions, cars and fridges, to help fuel an economic revival.