TAPP President Dr. Necmi Sınanmış: “Do not jeopardize your health and the society’s peace on New Year’s Day!”
Stressing that there is no safe lower limit for alcohol consumption, Turkish Alcohol Policy Platform (TAPP) President Dr. Necmi Sınanmış indicated that alcohol consumption on New Year’s Day with the excitement of entering a new year would push the body beyond limits and lead to health disorders.
TAPP, established with the purpose of ensuring the supervision of alcohol consumption in compliance with contemporary norms, seeks to avoid tragic events attributable to consumption of alcoholic beverages in connection with New Year festivities. TAPP President stated that people should entertain themselves within the framework of love and mutual respect as they enter the New Year. Stressing that there is no safe lower limit for alcohol consumption, Dr. Sınanmış expressed that alcohol consumption on New Year’s Day with the excitement of entering a new year would push the body beyond limits and lead to health disorders as well as to breach of social peace. “We need to refrain from disturbing social peace by consuming alcohol for entertainment purposes,” he said.
Sınanmış maintained that alcohol consumption for pleasure or entertainment purposes is on the ascendancy as the minimum age for starting to consume alcoholic beverages is declining. “The society as a whole should strive to eliminate factors that encourage alcohol consumption and introduce certain regulatory rules and, by doing so, minimize accidents that disrupt social peace, murders, rapes, and violence. This is a responsibility [for us all],” he said. Noting that we need to increase awareness in order to raise sound and respectful generations, Sınanmış stressed: “It is the desire and expectation of the society that we enter the new year without doing harm to our health and without disturbing other people and without leading to social chaos or economic or social injuries, but in a healthy, peaceful and joyful manner.”
“We must hamper the social chaos caused by alcohol”
Sınanmış indicated that their aim is to ensure that all social groups become aware of the public health aspects of alcohol consumption and addiction. “For a humanly and contemporary life, it is essential that we eliminate social chaos, lethargy, anomaly, negative life, diseases, and lack of love attributable to alcohol and that we build a healthy and loving life,” he said. Drawing attention to the fact that certain rules are needed to compensate for the incentive effects of alcohol, Sınanmış argued: “Although the relevant ministry and institutions are working on the matter, there is yet any alcohol policy. For harmonization with the European Union acquis, too, Turkey needs alcohol policies. Actually, European countries tend to introduce the strictest measures when it comes to human and social health and peace although we generally believe them to be more liberal as regards alcohol consumption. The TAPP is the outcome of the need for drafting a bill on alcohol and developing alcohol policies.”
The work for the establishment of the TAPP started in 2013. The TAPP focuses on monitoring and assessment of the production, sale, consumption, advertising, and promotion of alcoholic beverages as well as on alcohol addiction.
The TAPP has 50 member organizations which include not only health organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Turkish Green Crescent Society, the Public Health Specialists Association, the Turkish Heart Foundation, the Turkish Society of Cardiology, the Turkish Liver Foundation, the Life Health and Social Services Foundation, the National Pediatrics Association, the Autistic People Care and Training Association, and the Turkish Kidney Foundation, but also civil society organizations from various sectors, including the Istanbul Traffic Foundation, the Consumers Union, the Educators Trade Union, and the Craftsmen and Artisans Association. In addition to the civil organizations, the public bodies like the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Public Health Agency of Turkey, the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, the Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Agency, and the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) take part in the platform as observers.
The Turkish Alcohol Policy Platform, established with the participation of 50 member organizations, held its first General Assembly meeting. Details were provided on the basic work, policies, and vision of the platform during the General Assembly meeting.
The Turkish Alcohol Policy Platform (TAPP), established with the participation of 50 member organizations including the Turkish Green Crescent Society, will hold its first General Assembly for 2014. Details will be provided on the basic work, policies, and vision of the platform during the General Assembly meeting to be made at the Sepetçiler Kasrı at 14:00 on Saturday, April 26.
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The members of the Turkish Alcohol Policy Platform (TAPP), established with the participation of 27 organizations including the Turkish Green Crescent Society on March 8, 2013, have held a meeting. During the meeting, the working principles and procedures for the TAPP have been identified. The Turkish Green Crescent Society will provide the TAPP with secretarial and promotional services, and the TAPP will hold a General Assembly meeting to draft its charter within 6 months.
Having been established on March 8, 2013 with the purpose of ensuring the supervision of alcohol consumption in compliance with contemporary norms, the TAPP held its first working meeting. During the meeting hosted by the Turkish Green Crescent Society at Sepetçiler Kasrı, representatives of the TAPP’s member organizations have underscored the need for the TAPP’s work and stressed that they will cooperate for the development of alcohol policies.
Turkish Green Crescent Society Chairman Prof. İhsan Karaman delivered a speech, noting that that while similar formations have existed in many countries around the world, the initiative is a novel concept for Turkey. Prof. Karaman indicated: “There is no alcohol policy in Turkey and what’s worse, false information has been occasionally imposed on the society by the state and certain commercial entities. Looking at the work conducted by the international institutions working on alcohol, we can say that promotions, ads, propaganda, incentive broadcasts and publications are diametrically opposite to the policies developed by public health institutions. Worst still, the state has introduced monopoly on alcohol and earned revenues from it. But the damage done to the public health can hardly be compensated with any financial gain. The global organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) have certain resolutions and recommendations. We witness that certain countries particularly including European countries have recently started to implement the WHO’s recommendations. The Turkish Green Crescent Society believes that the work to be conducted in this area must include as many stakeholders as possible and we have set out to establish this platform.
What have the Turkish Green Crescent Society done in this period? It organized a symposium on the global alcohol policies to draw attention to this issue. The matter was discussed in scientific terms as well as from the public health and civil society perspectives. Then, a bill regarding alcohol came to the agenda and it was adopted. While it believed this move was unsatisfactory, the Turkish Green Crescent Society still lent support to it. The legal provisions that entered into force on September 9 are right, but they are behind the practices that are in effect in many countries. So we say ‘Not enough, but yes.’ What more can be done? We need to work to raise awareness of the public regarding the implementation of the bill and eliminate misunderstanding.”
In the meeting, the TAPP’s operating procedures as well as the draft charter were discussed and the temporary Executive Board was elected to office.
The TAPP has member organizations which include not only health organizations such as the Public Health Specialists Association, the Turkish Heart Foundation, the Turkish Society of Cardiology, the Turkish Liver Foundation, and the Life Health and Social Services Foundation, but also civil society organizations (CSOs) from various sectors, including the Istanbul Traffic Foundation, the Traffic Accidents Prevention Association of Turkey, the Consumers Union, the Federation of Consumer Organizations, and the Health and Food Safety Movement. In addition to the civil organizations, the public bodies like the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Public Health Agency of Turkey, the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, and the Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Agency take part in the platform.
The Global Alcohol Policies Symposium, hosted by the Turkish Green Crescent Society, has garnered widespread interest.
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Alcoholic beverages are subject to special regulations and are closely monitored in all countries around the world due to their relevance with the state revenues and public health. The regulations on alcoholic beverages were initially introduced in our country as the tax revenues from alcoholic beverages were transferred to the General Debts Administration under the payments of debts to foreign countries.
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