Turkey vows stepped-up efforts to fight bootleg alcohol

32 people nationwide have died from poisoning after consuming the illegal alcohol

Meric Urer and Huseyin Bagis  | 12.10.2020 - Update : 13.10.2020
Turkey vows stepped-up efforts to fight bootleg alcohol


Turkish officials vowed Monday to intensify efforts to combat the production and sale of bootleg alcohol after 32 people died of poisoning and 31 others were hospitalized.

“There will be more inspections,” said Yavuz Selim Kosger, the governor of Izmir province, where 16 of the people died.

“A lot of bootleg alcohol and related material have been seized...Security forces raid places where they believe such activities are carried out."

Kosger urged the public not to buy alcohol from illegal or unauthorized dealers.  

Last Friday, 18 people were admitted to hospitals in Izmir, allegedly poisoned by counterfeit alcohol. Over the weekend, 10 of them died. 

Five workplaces, a warehouse and a residence were subsequently raided and 12 suspects detained.

Separately, one person died from consuming bootleg alcohol in the metropolis of Istanbul.

Hakki Oguzhan Sahinoglu, 36, died after drinking homemade liquor made with methyl alcohol. 

Three people who bought methyl alcohol from the same source and made and drank illegal alcohol are also being treated at a hospital. Two of them are intubated.

Police have also arrested three suspects over the sale of methyl alcohol.

In addition, since Oct. 9, 15 other people have died from poisoning after consuming bootleg alcohol while 10 are being treated in Mersin, Aydin, Kirikkale and Mugla provinces.

Illegally produced liquor is often laced with methanol, which causes permanent blindness, metabolic disturbances and even death.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar and Seda Sevencan

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