Europe Briefing — Global


Alcohol tax in Turkey, election with Finland and Georgia's diplomacy love-in.

Diplomacy, Election, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, John Godson, Turkey

Green eyes on the Green Isle


Ireland may be the sick man of Europe but the new Taoiseach (or prime minister), elected in February, still earns around €230,000 a year – the highest of any OECD countries.

Let them eat grapes

Turkey [ALCOHOL]

Planning on a few cocktails on your next holiday in Turkey? You might need a bank loan to pay for it. The government has increased a special tax on alcohol by 30 per cent, making Turkey one of the most expensive countries in the world to have a drink. It also introduced new regulations limiting alcohol sales…

Turkey’s other culture clashes:

  1. Sex:
    Under pressure from the Board of Education, three academics were fired from Istanbul’s Bilgi University earlier this year after a student turned in a pornographic film for his dissertation. The entire film department was also shut down.

  2. Cosmopolitanism:
    Expats in Turkey are still talking about the bloody attack last September on an art gallery opening in central Istanbul. A mob attacked guests and were reportedly armed.

  3. Headscarves:
    Turkey’s secular establishment continues to battle religious Muslims over the issue. A top court in January ruled that wearing one during a university exam is “unlawful”.


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