Türkiye'nin en iyi köşe yazarları en güzel köşe yazıları ile Hürriyet'te! Usta yazarlar ve gündemi değerlendiren köşe yazılarını takip edin.

Turn my wine into Ayran!

A gorgeous woman and a man with gray in his temples clink glasses as the sun sets. She looks straight into his eyes and murmurs something soft, her eyes gleaming with unpronounced hints of promise. She looks across the Bosphorus, her suntanned shoulder gently touching that of the man.

The man, a cross between a young Sean Connery and Bernard Pivot in his prime, turns to the audience: "That is what I call the ending of a perfect day," he says and the brand appears: "AYRAN, strong but gentle Turkish yoghurt drink!"

Or an alternative advertisement:

Two men, with tired faces and gray, crumpled suits are sitting on very uncomfortable bar stools and are served by a disapproving bartender.

"I know I should be going home, but what do I have?" asks one to the other. "A nagging wife, a job with no promise of promotion and not a soul who loves me."

"How will you vote for the next elections?" asks the other guy, as if trying to change the topic.

"Don’t know," says the other with slightly slurred speech. "I do not think much about politics. I may vote for the AKP or for the MHP."

They stumble to their feet as the screen darkens. The final glimpse is that of a grape Ğ there is no name pronounced Ğ just like the famous Silk Cut advertisement of the 1990s.


This, gentle reader, is what we may end up seeing after the new regulation on alcoholic beverages. Brilliant Turkish advertisers, if you think you would love to see an ad on TV using dancing women and lots of bubbles, forget champagne. Work for cola instead!

If you want to have daring men on horseback, relaxing after a day of heroism, this would be the publicity for ayran, not rakı.

The second advertisement of two tired men, dumb as it may be, has the advantage of bypassing all the limitations of a recent regulation. The regulation drafted by the state-run Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Agency, or TAPDK, takes effect as of July, with the declared aim of bringing Turkey one step closer to the "EU standard" in terms of protecting the consumer and young people.

Let us take a look on the rules:

Thanks to the new law, do not bother associating wine with cheese or rakı with mezes or beer with chips. Scenes of a rakı table overlooking the Bosphorus or couples in suave evening clothes clinking glasses at the Four Seasons on the Bosphorus are a definite no-no. This aims to create a realistic picture: real drunkards do not mix their alcohol with their food, nor do they care for the scenery. Thus, a dark restaurant and a bare table is more than adequate.

Stop misleading the public that you will have more body by drinking wine, more of a spark by drinking champagne and more courage by drinking rakı. A very dry Martini hardly makes you James Bond, whiskey would neither make you frisky nor Sean Connery. Men seldom make passes at girls who drain glasses. Drink tea, the ultimate aphrodisiac. In the second advertisement, we see that this principle is reflected; the alcohol drinkers are not in high status by home life, professional advancement or voting choice.

Who can drink a bottle of wine and perform well anyway Ğ particularly after a certain age? Rum does not rhyme with come. Protect the minors, as well as women, from being lured by false promises.

Alcohol advertisements will be confined solely to films that are suitable for people 18 and older. The images will only be shown at the end of the film screenings in the movie theaters. Those who are interested will stay.

Would it be impertinent to call AK Party "Alcohol Kiss-off Party" now?

Last thing to watch:

The alcohol advertisements will not include sexual and pornographic elements.

Alcohol should not be shown as a status signal.

No culinary or cultural references.