Discourses about the ‘Alcohol Problem’ in the Late Ottoman Empire and in Turkey from 1900 until Today
The research project is on the issue of the ‘alcohol problem’ in Turkey in the long 20th century. The research question behind the project is: How have discourses on the ‘alcohol problem’ and regulations of alcohol trade and consumption in Turkey changed since 1900, in particular, how have they been influenced by Turkey’s relationship with Europe and the US? Elife Biçer-Deveci explores scientific debates on alcohol, regulation of alcohol consumption and trade by the state, and the role of non-governmental organisations in the process of secularisation. The basic assumption is that the contemporary implementation of Islamic prohibition is a result of exchange with Western culture.The temperance movements in Europe and the USA have influenced the debates on alcohol in Turkey and have helped to detach and secularise the discourses on the ban on alcohol from Islamic doctrine. Prohibitionist ideas originating in the West were adopted in secularized form by Islamic groups.This led to the current prohibition policy pursued in Muslim countries and to Turkey's current restrictive alcohol policy. Using Turkey as a case study offers insights into a part of the Muslim world that is closely related to Europe as well as to the Muslim countries.