MWs Turkey weekend cancelled over government restrictions

25th June, 2014 by Richard Ross

New laws in Turkey banning the domestic marketing and promotion of alcohol have forced organisers to cancel an annual Istanbul visit by a panel of MWs.

TurkeySince 2010, a group of four MWs has been invited to Istanbul each summer for a weekend of tastings, organised by Turkish wine enthusiast and businessman Yunus Emre Kocabaşoğlu. Turkish producers were asked to present a selection of their best wines which the MWs would taste blind, then score and offer feedback to the producers.

However, this year’s weekend could not take place because of the current political restrictions in place.

The government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP Party has its largest support base amongst rural voters and in recent years has begun to promote more clearly Islamic policies despite Turkey’s strong secular traditions. These include a series of moves to restrict the sale and promotion of alcohol.

One of the regular attendees, Sarah Abbott MW, told db that “it is quite right that the sale of alcoholic drinks should be controlled for reasons of public health, but the ban on all marketing of wine is needlessly damaging to the Turkish wine sector.”

The restrictions are gradually being tested by Turkey’s wine community, but current interpretations suggest that the ban applies to all domestic wine advertising, marketing and tasting events. For that reason, the organisers felt obliged to cancel this year’s MW weekend in Istanbul.

Sarah Abbott says that it’s hugely disappointing that they can’t continue to offer their support to winemakers in Istanbul this year  “Over the four years we have been taking part in this event, I’ve seen that the quality of wines has really gone sky-high, mostly from a strong base of enthusiastic boutique producers looking to build new markets.”

She adds: “If you’re a wine writer in Turkey today, you can no longer offer wine recommendations, and a group of producers in the region of Thrace, for example – just an hour’s drive from Istanbul -have had to stop marketing their ‘wine route’ to visitors, although they are managing to call it a ‘vineyard route’.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Wine Buyer

Conviviality Plc
Crewe, UK

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
M3/M4 corridor

Media Sales Manager - Hong Kong

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Regional Account Manager

New Generation McKinley
London, UK

Experienced Sales Account Manager – On Trade

Cantina Goccia
London and the south, UK

National Sales Manager – Premium Drinks

Core Recruitment
London based with national travel

Wine Trainee

Stone, Vine & Sun
Twyford, near Winchester, Hampshire

Senior Technologist - Drinks

Conviviality Group
London, UK

Procurement Manager

JF Hillebrand Global Beverage Logistics
Essex, UK

Porter & Laker Manager

Porter & Laker
Essex, UK

Sales Manager & Brand Ambassador - Southwest

Salcombe Distilling Co.
Southwest of England - reporting to Salcombe HQ, GB

Head of Marketing

ATOM Supplies
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 24th February 2017

The Prosecco Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th March 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 3rd March 2017

Click to view more

The Global Sparkling Masters

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters

The Global Rosé Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the launch of the Global Rosé Masters 2016.

The Prosecco Masters 2016

Now in its third year, the competition will reflect the growth in popularity of this fresh and exciting sparkling wine from the picturesque regions of Veneto and Friuli.

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2016

After the success of last year’s competition that judged over 250 wines from no less than 16 countries, the drinks business is proud to announce the third year of the Global Pinot Noir Masters

Click to view more