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Originally published May 23, 2013 at 10:36 AM | Page modified May 24, 2013 at 12:25 AM

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Turkey passes bill restricting alcohol sales, ads

Turkey's parliament has passed legislation to ban all advertising of alcohol and tighten restrictions on sales in the mainly Muslim but secular country.

The Associated Press

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ANKARA, Turkey —

Turkey's parliament has passed legislation to ban all advertising of alcohol and tighten restrictions on sales in the mainly Muslim but secular country.

The legislation, adopted on Friday, bans the sale of alcoholic drinks between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. It also prohibits alcohol sales anywhere close to mosques and educational centers.

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

It also brings stricter penalties on drunken driving.

The government says the law is aimed at protecting Turkey's youth from the harms of alcohol but secularist opponents accuse the Islamic-rooted ruling party of gradually imposing an Islamic agenda.

The legislation needs presidential approval before coming into effect.

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