Turkey is the sixth largest taxer of alcohol in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, a 2018 research revealed, having taxed rakı by 443 percent in the past decade, and beer by 365 percent.
A clear beverage with 40 to 50 percent alcohol that turns white when mixed with water, rakı is a traditional Turkish drink that’s a first-choice for many people.
A large bottle of rakı, meaning 70 milileters, costs around 150 Turkish Liras.
A taxes expert from Başkent University, Dr. Ozan Bingöl said that a large bottle of rakı is currently taxed 234 percent more than what its alcohol volume mandates.
Meanwhile, taxing on beer by the litre increased from 0.44 liras to 2.04 liras, spiking by 365 percen, Bingöl added.
The expert said that the government collected 74 billion liras from alcohol between the years 2010 and 2019, noting that special consumption taxes like the one on alcohol are easy to manage and fruitful for Ankara.
“Special consumption taxes also have a direct impact on consumer behavior. It’s used as a political tool to decrease demand in these products,” Bingöl said.
The government has made 1,176,000,000,000 liras in special consumption taxes between 2006 and 2019, the expert added.