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Turkey's Parliament Passes Law Curbing Alcohol Sales, Ads

Turkey's parliament has passed legislation to ban advertising of alcoholic products and tighten restrictions on sales.

The measure, adopted on May 24, bans the sale of alcoholic beverages between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

It also prohibits selling alcohol in the vicinity of mosques and schools.

The law bars beverage companies from promoting their brands, and forces the blurring of images of alcoholic drinks, on television.

It also brings stricter penalties on drunken driving.

Supporters of the measure -- introduced by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) party, which has its roots in Islam -- say the law is seeking to protect society, and the youths in particular, from the harmful effects of alcohol.

Turkey is a fiercely secular country, and opponents accuse the AKP of gradually imposing an Islamic agenda.

The legislation still needs presidential approval.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP