Counterfeit alcohol kills dozens in two provinces
İZMİR / KIRKLARELİ
At least 17 people have died and more than 60 have been hospitalized over the last two days in the western province of İzmir and the Central Anatolian province of Kırıkkale after consuming counterfeit alcohol.
Ten of 18 people who were hospitalized in İzmir with complaints including nausea and vision loss have lost their lives.
In Kırklareli, doctors could not save the seven of the eight hospitalized, while one person is still in intensive care unit in a hospital.
The Kırıkkale Governor’s Office had announced that “the individuals consumed a mixture of alcoholic flavors and ethyl alcohol-based surface cleaning liquids used as disinfectants.”
Police units in İzmir raided some herbalist shops and warehouses and detained around 10 people upon statements made by those hospitalized.
“Unfortunately, we hear that some herbalists started selling ethyl-alcohol,” an herbalist in the Alsancak neighborhood of İzmir said, adding, “Those sales yield a profit of 300 percent. We know that these people buy a villa in six months with ethyl-alcohol sales.”
“We have five shops. Some people came and asked us if we wanted to sell too. We, of course, did not accept their offer. We heal wounds, don’t mess around with people’s health.”
Alcohol poisoning from illegal drinks has claimed nearly 10,000 lives in the world over the past decade.
According to police data, around 228 people have died in Turkey due to alcohol poisoning over the same time period.
In 2014, more than 27,000 liters of illegal drinks were seized. This number skyrocketed to 1 million liters in 2018.