May 2, 2021
From Kedistan

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“Europe is starting to reopen. So as not to be left behind in tourism and commerce, we must be down to less than 5 000 Covid cases per day. Therefore, I am calling on your sense of sacrifice in the coming days.”

Thus spake Tayyip in presidential stance, regarding Covid and our sick economy in dire need of tourists to fill the gap left by vanished gobs of currency. It would also be a shame if Covid were to spoil the 2023 festivities, yes?

Voilà ce que vient d’annoncer Tayyip, avec une posture présidentielle, à propos du Covid et de notre économie malade, qui aurait bien besoin de touristes, pour combler le trou des devises qui se sont volatilisées. Ce serait aussi dommage que ce Covid gâche aussi les festivités de 2023 non ?

So he continued with the announcement of a “train of measures”: confined to our neighborhoods, except for quick shopping forays in those shops that will not be closed – who knows which ones – no more travelling inside the country and… an alcohol-free diet, among a host of other measures I forget. Safety distancing is maintained, of course. As we all know, in Turkey, security is a sacred issue.

covid alcool erdogan

“Young people, alcohol is forbidden. Hugs & Kisses! R. Tayyip
I’m joking, hugs & kisses are also forbidden!”
(Cover on the satirical weekly, Penguen)

What with Ramadan, you already get looked at sideways for a beer, now it will carry a 300 euro fine, straight off, for any alcoholic enjoyment whatsoever, as well as for a breath of fresh air without a good excuse. And the Reis adds that this will prevail until May 17th.

So, he’s expecting to lower the fever in 17 days, to under 5 000 cases, while, at the same time, we are told there are 60 000 new cases daily. On a total of 83 million people, almost 40 000 have died  officially and without fanfare from Covid. Am I wrong in thinking that Europe is also ahead of us on that score? Miscreants die first, this is a well known fact. And those Muslims who die anyway, all go to paradise where hostesses await them, minus alcoholic beverages, of course.

All right, I’m vaccinated thanks to a Chinese cousin who was wandering on the Silk Road, but this is far from being the case for everyone. And still, I’m denied a drink. As I write this, it seems that 13,3 million people have received their first dose and 8 million have received both, like me. We’re awaiting the second passage from the Chinese fellow, but also from an American. Putin is late and is ignoring us these days. We’ll have to content ourselves with his S 400s.

Is an alcohol prohibition truly reasonable? In fact, what you probably don’t know is that, over here, alcohol is already not available in a number of shops and that those that sell some are precisely on the list of the famous “non essentials”. There’s one problem solved. Since meetings were already prohibited for the breaking of the fast, those of us who don’t fast will also have to do without.

And there I was thinking Covid and boredom were soluble in alcohol. If that’s the case, I won’t even buy cologne water anymore. Already, we’re doing with soap from Aleppo.

I set down my glass, please hold my order for two more.

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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