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Istanbul exhibition recalls beer's popularity in Ottoman times

Turkey's beer drinkers complain of high prices and legal limitations today, yet more than a century ago beer gardens were seen as ultimate modernity.
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As the number of public spaces in Turkey allowed to sell alcohol continues to decline, an exhibition at the Naval Museum in Istanbul tells the story of the rise of beer production and consumption in the late 19th century.

The exhibition, titled “Kendine Has” ("Sui Generis"), which opened March 13 and runs until April 12, pays homage to the history of the Bomonti beer factory and the modernizing role of beer in the predominantly Muslim Ottoman Empire. Situated on the European side of Istanbul, the Bomonti factory is not only a major industrial heritage building but in the past had been a culturally significant entertainment complex with beer gardens. The area surrounding it is now known as Bomonti.

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