There is no legal basis for the ban on alcohol sales during the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, Turkish Health Ministry's Coronavirus Science Committee member Prof. Serap Şimşek Yavuz said in an April 28 broadcast on Habertürk.
"I agree with all the criticisms. I don't get such an unreasonable practice," Yavuz said, while also questioning the relationship between COVID-19 and consuming alcohol at home.
"We aim to reduce crowds and gathering in closed spaces. Bars and restaurants are closed. Drinking may be a problem in these areas, but what is wrong with people drinking alcohol in their homes? I absolutely don't get it," she said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 26 announced that Turkey will implement a full lockdown between April 29 and May 17 due to the soaring number of COVID-19 cases.
Two days after Erdoğan's announcement, the Interior Ministry said that alcohol sales will be banned, prompting outrage on Twitter due to the government's increasing interference in people's lives.
Thousands have been asking authorities to reveal the reason behind such a ban since it's illegal. Many believe that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) pushes his Islamist agenda by using the pandemic.
Yavuz on April 28 called on the government to immediately reverse its decision to ban alcohol sales.
"For example, it's believed that washing your mouth with alcohol decreases the viral load. On what grounds are you imposing such a ban? I'm thoroughly shocked," she said.
"This is so out of place. It's incredible. I would reverse it if I were them immediately," Yavuz added.