Norway: Mosque wants restaurant to stop serving beer

Norway: Mosque wants restaurant to stop serving beer

(Turkish beer)

"We just serve imported beer with the food," the general manager of the Istanbul Café and Restaurant, Zeynep Karagøz, told

The restaurant in the Norwegian town of Moss is being pressured by the building owner and neighbor, a mosque run by the Turkish Muslim community, to stop serving alcohol, reports Moss Avis.

"I was told of the complaint on Friday, and was very surprised. But Norway is a democratic country. People can think what they want," says Norwegian-Turkish Karagøz.

The restaurant is in the first floor of the same building as the mosque, and was given the license to serve alcohol before New Year's.

The mosque has its premises on the second floor, but uses that same entrance as the restaurant.

In the summer the community complained to the Moss municipality, saying that the serving of alcohol is a nuisance for the children and youth activities going on there.

"Especially on the weekends and in the evenings, there's a lot of activity for children and youth in the building and in the area," says the complaint, which will be processed by the municipality's supervisory board this week.

The manager of the restaurant says she doesn't understand the claims of the community and says the the activities that the community mentioned take place between 12PM and 4PM on the weekends.

Zeynep says that the restaurant she runs doesn't have alcohol on the menu, but sells imported Turkish beer in bottles.

"We are keen to promote Turkish culture and food traditions. Here we don't serve boiled potatoes, and alcohol is not on the menu," the manager told

The restaurant leases the premises from the Turkish religious community, which wants the alcohol license to be taken away.

If their complaint to the municipality doesn't get anywhere, they will check other options to stop the serving of alcohol, a spokesperson told the local paper.

"We will comply with the municipality's response. Meanwhile we think that something should be done. It's out of the question to move the mosque. We will see what we do with the lease contract when it expires," Bilal Øzbal of the Turkish Muslim faith-society in Østfold told Moss Avis.

Source: TV2 (Norwegian)