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saleem
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« on: Mar 23, 2013 01:56 AM »


Drinking rakı with water

BELGİN AKALTAN - belgin.akaltan@hdn.com.tr
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Hürriyet photo

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Of course the prime minister is right. As always. There are variations in drinking rakı, the Turkish national drink. As the prime minister of this country, naturally, he knows best.

Rakı is a Turkish drink. It is not the same drink as the rakia of the Balkans. It is an unsweetened, anise-flavored hard alcoholic drink. It has its own culture of eating, as well as table manners and conversation style. It is often served with seafood or Turkish mezes, a selection of small dishes served at the beginning of large meals. (Oh God, all of a sudden I want to quit writing and settle in an Aegean village and drink rakı and eat mezes for the rest of my life until I burst.)

Anyway, this is all taken from Wikipedia except the wish in parenthesis. Wiki continues: It is similar to several other alcoholic beverages such as pastis, ouzo, sambuca, arak, and aguardiente.

Whereas the raki you find in several Balkan countries is produced by distillation of fermented fruit. Rakia is predominantly accepted and considered to be a national drink of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia (end of Wikipedia and wishes).
 
Some tourists visiting Turkey have created a cocktail where rakı is mixed (never, never and never is rakı mixed with anything [except water if the PM excuses us]) with a sugary, carbonated lemonade. To produce a “disaster.” Turkish bartenders and Turkish bar goers have named it so; disaster. It is a true disaster not even worth mentioning. It is against all the known aspects and concepts of rakı. But, somehow this completely disastrous version of rakı has survived. There must be something appealing to the non-Turkish palates about this true disaster.

The drinking of rakı with water was on our political agenda last week because Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan mentioned it in his Parliamentary group speech while trying to imply that the opposition leader was tipsy: “I am curious what they [the opposition] are drinking. It seems that they are drinking rakı with water.”

Rakı makes Turkey go round

The master of rakı drinking, Aydın Boysan was immediately consulted, like within about 12 minutes, on what the PM’s words meant. Aydın Boysan said Erdoğan’s words did not mean anything. “There is no difference between drinking rakı with or without water.” Boysan said the prime minister frequently used such expressions to condescend drinking culture.

Melis Alphan from daily Hürriyet wrote that it was a total surprise that the PM spoke of a variation of rakı drinking, an area he is a total stranger to. While social media was saturated with comments, Melis Alphan went down to Beyoğlu, a district of Istanbul famous for its abundance of pubs, taverns, inns, bars, restaurants and streets where you can enjoy yourself and drink, despite the attempts of the conservative district mayor to stop all of this (oh God, I want to quit this and go to Beyoğlu right now).

She (the lucky b****, Melis) sat down at a table with friends, poured some water in her glass of rakı and two ice cubes, made a toast and immediately the table next to them commented: “Don’t forget to put a lot of water in your rakı, and then drink it.” Was this for the pleasure of doing something just to contradict the PM or was it just a simple rakı joke? Well, it does not matter when there is rakı around! Analyzing the PM’s comments, some speculated, “Those who mix rakı with water are not considered man enough. He must have meant that.” Another interpretation was that “Our ancestors must have been drinking rakı without water.” While another table was discussing that in “deep” Anatolia, real men drink rakı without water, and the PM implied that CHP (main opposition) guys were not real men.

Here is a selection of the comments on social media:

@koraypekozkay: Nobody seems to have correctly understood the mighty: So it is the water that is the sin.

@Cetings: Is it banned now? Which one? Drinking rakı? With water? Without water? Tell me.
john nartland: 50 percent of the population understood what the PM was saying even though they did not understand it; the other 50 percent did not understand it even though they understood.

Sadık Mert Teziş: Since he is obsessed with rakı this much, I kind of suspect he is drinking secretly.

Cengiz Bilir: If he only took a sip, then he would get what he has missed.

Ebru Kural: Esteemed prime minister, I generally put ice in rakı. Could you tell me if that’s OK?
Meanwhile, do you find it appropriate that haydari is served with rakı?

https://twitter.com/belginakaltan
belgin.akaltan.com

March/23/2013

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/drinking-raki-with-water.aspx?pageID=238&nID=43446&NewsCatID=469
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« Reply #1 on: Mar 23, 2013 01:58 AM »



Sub Categories: » HOMEPAGE / LIFE/ EATERY

Friday,March 22 2013, Your time is 7:47:15 PM
A rendezvous of taste for losers and winners: Yakup 2

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
A venerable institution in Asmalımescit, the meyhane Yakup 2 was key to revitalizing a neglected corner of Istanbul and has now become a reference point for hundreds of cozy places spread across the city with its provision of rakı, olive-oil dishes, meat and fish
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Daily News Photos, Emrah Gürel

Daily News Photos, Emrah Gürel

Ali Kayalar Ali Kayalar ali.kayalar@hurriyet.com.tr

When Yakup Arslan moved to Istanbul as a very young boy to help his restaurant owner uncle in early 1950s, the bumpy Asmalımescit district streets, which connect to the heart of the city’s entertainment area on İstiklal Avenue, constituted one of the darkest and dirtiest sides of the metropolis.

What changed the environment in time were Yakup and his uncle Refik’s meyhanes that began to attract intellectuals, diplomats and businesspeople with their taste and owners’ sweet tongue – a must for a full-course meyhane evening.

Meyhanes, the traditional Turkish restaurants that offer alcoholic drinks along with a large scale of olive oil dishes, meat and fish, usually look like each other with decoration and menus, and Yakup 2 is today a reference point for hundreds of cozy places spread across the city.

Just like the Asmalımescit Street itself, Arslan’s road to gaining a deserved fame in the meyhane business was a bumpy one, his son Yıldıray Arslan and the staff of Yakup 2 say. A proud photo of the “founding father,” showing him sitting in front of his restaurant, proves that it was worth it.

HDN

Yıldırım Kılınç (L) has been working for Yakup for more
than 11 years.
“Losers and winners meet at Yakup 2,” Yıldırım Kılınç, the manager of the restaurant, told the Hürriyet Daily News. “This place is no more a meyhane than a family house. The meyhane business is not only about serving rakı, but sharing people’s problems and good times.”

This is one of a set of rules Yakup Arslan passed on to the next generation.

Salted tunny is another rule. Yıldırım said Arslan was once driven nuts when he heard of a suggestion to prepare salted fish from bonitos, which is “a definite violation” of the original recipe.

Kılınç, one of the newest members of the staff, has been working at Yakup for more than 11 years.
Cemal Güler, the commander-in-chief in the large kitchen, has been there since 1977, the year Yakup 2 was founded.

There is no Yakup 1 today since Yakup Arslan handed the place founded in the 1950s to his uncle Refik, who passed away in 2011.

Life in the kitchen starts at 6 a.m. in the morning. The two sons, Yıldıray and Ufuk, are personally involved in the purchasing of materials. A special olive oil is used in both cooked and uncooked dishes, and sea beans come from the Aegean on a daily basis.

HDN Fifty kinds of mezes

Yakup 2 is also famous for its meatballs, with daily consumption standing at around 35 kilograms, Yıldırım said. Fried liver is another specialty.

They prepare around 50 kinds of mezes every day for up to 650 people.

Meze is the common name for small dishes served with rakı across the Balkans.

“We try to offer mezes from all across Turkey, but Aegean mezes are the king,” Yıldırım said.

The two-story meyhane’s first floor is decorated in a rather “old-fashioned” way and patrons usually prefer to sit down there. The open-air second floor is home to a special library also, where autographed books by writers who frequent the establishment are displayed. A rather small veranda at the entrance is another place to enjoy Yakup 2 dishes while watching a street that is by no means dark and isolated today thanks to many new restaurants inspired by Refik and Yakup.

And if you’re lucky enough, you might just come across Yakup Arslan, who still visits the restaurant a few times a week.

March/23/2013

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/a-rendezvous-of-taste-for-losers-and-winners-yakup-2.aspx?pageID=238&nID=43448&NewsCatID=377
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« Reply #2 on: Mar 24, 2013 01:42 PM »

Umm, if Raki is alcohol how is it that Muslims are drinking it Huh?
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« Reply #3 on: Mar 25, 2013 10:20 AM »

Same reason there are people that call themselves Muslims in the UK that drink, don't practice Hijab and don't pray.
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« Reply #4 on: Mar 25, 2013 12:22 PM »

There are a lot of Muslims who drink alcohol, everywhere in the world. I read somewhere that in Bosnia, "liberal Islam" and secularism have such an influence that people break their fast in Ramadan with a drink. I know of Muslims here who consume alcohol, and ours is still considered a conservative society. If people do it in places like Turkey, I don't see any reason to be surprised.
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« Reply #5 on: Mar 25, 2013 03:55 PM »

Well I am surprised, I can see how Muslims fall into unIslamic relationships and other things, but grown married old adults (not college age) that drink with other Muslims as a culture... it's like why?? when there's no need?

(then again I'm always slightly surprised when I hear about Muslims doing wack things. Maybe I live a sheltered life?  Huh?  )
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« Reply #6 on: Mar 25, 2013 04:20 PM »

It is just something they have always done. On the whole they don't even see it as harram. If you tell them it is Harram, they will say something like, "Who are you to tell me it is harram, my father drunk Arak, so did my grandfather, and tonight I will drink with the Imam".
They will see it as very strange when you tell them it is Harram.
It wasn't a case of them starting to drink it.
They drunk it before their ancesters converted to Islam. And when they converted, they still drunk it up to today.
Kind of like Hijab amoung a lot of Indo-Pak women.
They dress Asian. silwal Kamiz or Saree and no Hijab.
They didn't abandon Hijab and Jilbab to wear that.
What happened is, when they were Hindu, they wore the clothes other hindus wore. saree, Silwal Kamiz. When they converted to Islam, they carried on wear the dress they always did. Daughters copied the mother and grand mother for hundreds of years.
When they met Muslims from other places that told them to cover the hair or even the face, they saw it as very strange, because they never saw their mothers or grand mothers wear Hijab except in prayer.
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