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Turkish Green Crescent host Global Alcohol Policy Symposium

Around 1,200 health experts representing 45 countries gathered last week in Istanbul at an international symposium on alcohol policy.

The symposium was organized by the Green Crescent Society (Yeşilay) in collaboration with the Office of the Prime Minister, the Parliament and the Ministry of Health and was co-sponsored by the World Health Association (WHO).

Eurocare presented “the Impact of Alcohol on Social Harm – the work of NGO’s in Europe”.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that Turkey does not have petrol or oil and therefore needs to take god care of its people – as people are the source for wealth. The prime minister stated that they are examining different alcohol control programs and also working with nongovernmental organizations to determine effective steps to decrease alcohol abuse in Turkey.

Health Minister, Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, stated that “Although alcohol consumption rates are much lower compared to other European countries and the US, people should not underestimate the fact that more young people are drinking. Turkey is at great risk in this regard and should adopt effective policies to prevent alcohol use despite its low consumption rates,” he continued.

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World Health Director General, Dr Margaret Chan, highlighted that harmful drinking causes immense damage to health and societies and imposes a heavy burden on health systems and health budgets. It is a major risk factor, and it is a largely avoidable one. She congratulated Turkey for taking the leadership of public health serious and at the highest political level, see