A Today's Zaman article:
Harshly criticizing what he says is the promotion of the consumption of alcohol at every possible opportunity, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday that Turkey’s national drink is ayran, a traditional drink made of yogurt.
Slamming the regime’s policy of presenting alcoholic drinks such as beer as the national drink in the early republican era, Erdoğan stated that alcohol was widely promoted even in school textbooks during the one-party rule. (between 1923 and 1950)
Speaking at the Global Alcohol Policy Conference 2013 in İstanbul, Erdoğan said the regime in the first decades of the republic presented beer and other alcoholic beverages as healthy drinks.
Hosting an international event attended by around 1,200 health experts from 53 countries, Erdoğan said, reflects his government’s sensitivity over the topic of health as it is working on several projects to proceed with a viable health policy in line with global policies on alcohol.
Recalling that Turkey had celebrated the 93rd anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Parliament only a few days ago, Erdoğan said one of the first bills introduced to Parliament in April 1920 had been on alcohol.
He said this was of crucial importance as deputies at that time had taken the issue seriously even though the fundamental priority of the newly established parliament was to lead the country’s War for Independence against occupying forces in Anatolia at that time.
Unfortunately, he said, the law could not last as it was removed later on in the early republican era.
The most striking point, Erdoğan stated, was that alcohol was treated as an element of modern life as part of the radical top-down modernization program embarked upon by the elites during the early republican period.
Source: DEAD LINK
Those so called modernists imitated Greek Ouzo and label it as Raki to everyone. This is actually what the PM tried to say and that is true. And Ayran is not the only traditional drink we have. There is also Şerbet