Death toll from bootleg alcohol rises to 80 across Turkey
The number of people who died rose to 35 in the Aegean province of İzmir where the first and the most deaths were reported.
Hospitalized due to alcohol poisoning after drinking a liquid whose content has not yet been determined, 37-year-old Can Yılmaz became the last victim of the sequential deaths in the city due to bootleg alcohol.
Yılmaz’s body was sent to the İzmir Forensic Medicine Institute for autopsy.
Authorities vowed to step up nationwide inspections against bootleg alcohol production in a country where taxes on alcoholic beverages are very high.
İzmir is followed by Istanbul with 10 deaths and the Aegean province of Aydın with nine deaths due to alcohol poisoning.
There were deaths due to alcohol poisoning in the provinces of Mersin, Muğla, Kirıkkale, Trabzon, Tekirdağ, Zonguldak, and Kırklareli, too.
Meanwhile, at least 40 suspects were remanded into custody over suspected links to the wave of alcohol poisoning, the country’s Interior Ministry said.
In a statement, the ministry said that a total of 100 suspects were detained over the incident.
Turkish security forces carried out a total of 2,430 operations against counterfeit alcohol production this year, the statement added.
This year, police and gendarmerie seized over 1 million liters and 220,911 bottles of counterfeit alcohol in several operations.
The ministry said that the counterfeit alcohol was produced from store-bought surface cleaners and products labeled with ethyl alcohol with high methanol content.
Police and gendarmerie teams seized 161,062 liters and 6,102 bottles of counterfeit alcoholic beverages in operations between Oct. 5 and Oct. 23, the statement added.
Bootleg alcohol, made with methyl alcohol instead of ethyl alcohol, is severely hazardous to health.
Its consumption can cause permanent blindness and often proves fatal.