Turkey increases special alcohol tax by 17.1%

Turkey has increased its special consumption tax on alcoholic beverages by 17.1%, according to Istanbul daily Habertürk.

The fixed tax on a bottle of raki increased to TL 326.99 ($44.38) and on beer it rose to TL 2.3933 ($0.32), while the tax on a bottle of wine with an abv below 18% now stands at TL 95.29 ($12.93).

Turkey typically imposes tax hikes on alcoholic beverages twice a year according to their share in the domestic producer price index.

In 2018, tax on a 70cl bottle of raki was TL 102.1 ($21.70 at the time), so it has soared since then.

Distributors have previously said that the number of people distilling and brewing their own drinks has increased as a result of tax hikes.

The latest increase follows news that Turkish annual inflation increased by 14.6% year-on-year in December, which was a higher rate than expected.

It was the highest consumer price index rise since mid-2019, and it will make basic goods expensive for Turks in the months ahead.

Naci Agbal, the new governor of the central bank, now faces a challenging battle with inflation.

Food and non-alcoholic drinks as well as transportation prices were both up more than 20% year-over-year last month, according to official data, with dry weather causing farming and production costs to rise.