Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said the aim of a new measure on alcohol consumption was to protect people, especially the young from "adopting bad habits."
The new bill passed Friday by the Turkish parliament restricts the consumption and advertising of alcohol. It bans companies producing alcoholic beverages from sponsoring events and sale of alcoholic drinks in shops between 10pm and 6:00am. It also introduces stricter penalties on drunk driving.
Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party voted against the new measure while the Nationalist Movement Party supported it.
Speaking at his party's headquarters, Erdogan replied to criticism directed about alcohol and said it was quite normal that the state took steps to keep its people away from bad habits.
"We are not forbidding alcohol, we are forbidding the promotion and advertisement of it in every form, written or visual, including in the social media," Erdogan said, adding that Turkey's constitution also obliged the state to protect the country's young people.
Erdogan underlined in his speech that the new regulation was not the first example of its kind in the world, saying there were many Western countries practising similar restrictions.
"We have been trying to create a generation that is sharp, fresh and well-equipped with knowledge. We do not want to see them drinking alcohol all day and walking around drunk day and night," Erdogan said.