Winemakers in Turkey Face Tough Government Regulations


This past summer Turkey's government enacted harsh laws against the marketing of wine and other alcohol beverages by local business owners, whether wineries, bars or restaurants.
Regulations include the prohibition of websites, printed brochures and consumer wine tastings. Also, Turkish journalists are not allowed to write  articles about wine which are intended for Turkish readers.
Wine labels must now include a series of graphics which remind imbibers they are required to be at least 18 years old, they cannot drive while drinking and that pregnant women should not drink. These labeling regulations are common among many countries. 
However, a three-word phrase underneath the graphics says, in Turkish, “Alcohol is not your friend.”
 According to Forbes, these new restrictions have cut by 95 percent the consumer base of Turkey's growing wine sector.
Understandably, the move has made it difficult for wineries to promote their products, but winemakers are adjusting to the new regulations.
The strict laws have encouraged winemakers to increase their exports.
For those winemakers who desire to boost sales withing Turkey, creative approaches to advertising are becoming popular.
Forbes reports one winery is hosting frequent private dinners in which 14 people attend with the intention to taste wine. Two of the attendees are winery representatives. The remaining 12 are friends and colleagues who get a chance to experience a tasting and who can promote the winery by word of mouth.
Another winemaker has decided to name his winery “Urla” after the popular tourist region in which it is located. The move is equivalent to a winery naming itself “Sonoma Winery” or “Napa Valley Winery”. Name-recognition has helped increase traffic to the winery.
A small group of winemakers in Turkey's Thrace region have created the Thrace Wine Route in an effort to attract visitors, Forbes noted. Rather than emphasizing the route as a vineyard or winery journey, the winemakers emphasize the agricultural differences between their wineries as a way to circumvent marketing laws.

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  • I must get to Turkey to help these producers in any way I can. These new laws are scandalous.

    Jul 26, 2015 at 1:14 AM

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