Four bootleg booze makers to serve 16 years in jail
BURSA – Doğan News AgencyFour bootleg booze makers have been sentenced to 16 years in prison on murder charges for illegally producing and selling alcohol which caused a number of deaths six years ago in the northwestern province of Bursa.
The four defendants, Hasan Şencan, 45, Mehmet Yılmaztürk, 52, Mesut Özbay, 42, and Hikmet Kartal, 48, were sentenced to 16 years and eight months in prison for the deaths of three people who consumed bootleg booze produced by the defendants in Bursa’s Mudanya and Mustafakemalpaşa districts in 2009.
The case was filed with the Bursa 2nd Court for Serious Crimes against the defendants on charges of “selling uncertified and unhealthy alcohol” and “causing death with negligence” over the deaths of Saip Telli, 59, Hasan Erdem, 78, and İsmail Güven, 50, who died after drinking bootleg rakı, which the four defendants produced in Bursa in 2009.
The sentence came amid a string of incidents involving illegally-produced alcohol which began in late October, as news surfaced that dozens had died from drinking counterfeit rakı, a Turkish liquor made of anise.
Rising prices of certified bottled alcohol in Turkey is thought to encourage bootleg alcohol consumption. Several media reports have thus far pointed out the affordability of certified booze matters in alcoholic drink preference for consumers.
Tax hikes on alcohol in recent years have been slammed by alcohol distributors and critics of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) alike, with many claiming they are part of a bid to impose conservative Islamic restrictions on Turkish society.